Icelander in Faroe Islands Found Guilty Skip to content

Icelander in Faroe Islands Found Guilty

A Faroese court found Birgir Páll Marteinsson (25) guilty for storing drugs in the “Polar Star” drug case on Friday and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Marteinsson, who has been in solitary confinement for nearly six months, may appeal the verdict.

“We had expected him to receive a two or three-year sentence for what he had confessed to. We were completely in shock when we listened to the sentencing,” Marteinsson’s mother, Íris Inga Svavarsdóttir, told Fréttabladid.

Marteinsson was arrested in September 2007 for his involvement in the largest single drug smuggling case in Iceland’s criminal history. He had accepted and stored 24.3 kilos of amphetamine, 15 kilos of Ecstasy powder and 1,746 Ecstasy tablets where he lived in the Faroe Islands. Six of his associates were sentenced to prison in Iceland in February.

“When these boys came to him and he didn’t know what was going on he was already in a situation that he couldn’t handle. He simply got scared […] and he wasn’t going to jeopardize the safety of his friends and family in Iceland. But he tried hard to get rid of these men when he knew what they were up to,” Svavarsdóttir said.

Marteinsson’s long stay in solitary confinement has been criticized by several people, including Iceland’s Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, and now the Faroese branch of Amnesty International is planning to investigate how solitary confinement is used in Faroese prisons.

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