Thomas Møller Olsen, who has been in police custody as part of the Birna Brjánsdóttir murder investigation, has now been charged with attacking the 20-year-old on January 14.
The charges laid against the Greenlandic man accuse him of having attacked Birna in a red Kio Rio car near a pontoon at Hafnarfjörður harbor. He is accused of hitting her repeatedly in the face and head, as well as taking her by the neck and applying strong force. Birna’s parents are claiming ISK 21 million (EUR 175, 629/USD 186,418) in compensation, RÚV reports.
These details are in formal charges made on Thursday by the district prosecutor, and released to the media today. Olsen’s custody period was extended by a court on Thursday. The charges accuse him of having ended Birna’s life by throwing her into the sea or other water, with the result that she drowned. The document does not state where this is thought to have taken place.
Birna’s body was found a week later on the shore just west of Solvogsviti lighthouse in Ölfushreppur municipality.
Birna was found with a broken nose and evidence of severe blunt force injuries to the head and face.
Olsen is also accused of drug smuggling; specifically the 23.4 kg of cannabis which was hidden aboard the trawler Polar Nanoq, where Olsen was a crewmember. The boat was made to turn back to port in Iceland in connection to the police investigation into Birna’s disappearance.
The charges will be formally filed with the Reykjanes District Court tomorrow, when Olsen is expected to plead either guilty or not guilty. During police interrogation, he has admitted to the charge of trying to smuggle drugs from Denmark to Greenland, but denied any wrongdoing in the death of Birna.
Birna’s parents are claiming ISK 10.5 million each, or ISK 21 million in total, and her father is also calling for Olsen to be made to cover her funeral costs.