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New evidence in Baugur case

At the request of special prosecutor Sigurdur Tómas Magnússon, the Icelandic police has gathered new evidence in the Baugur case. The defendants in the case have also been summoned by the court for additional questioning.

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, reports that the Reykjavík District Court will soon render a verdict in the Baugur case. According to Icelandic law, the court has 3 weeks to issue a verdict, and the court adjourned to deliberate the case on February 23rd. 32 of the original 40 charges have been dismissed, leaving 8 remaining charges. The 32 dismissed charges are currently under review by the special prosecutor for the purpose of evaluating if and how they should be filed again.

The 32 charges concern alleged embezzlement and fraud in violation the criminal code. The charges also involve alleged violations of the corporate code. The defendants have all denied the charges and harshly criticize the way the case has been pursued.

The Supreme Court dismissed the 32 charges from the court for the following reasons: the description of the alleged crime was flawed; how the alleged crime related to the law was flawed; the alleged crime did not match the description of the crime and sometimes even contradicted the description; in many cases it was not clear how each of the accused was involved in perpetrating the alleged crime. The verdict also said that the indictment was unclear.

The remaining charges relate to annual reports and automobiles that were imported to Iceland. In charges 33-36, Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, former Baugur CEO Tryggvi Jónsson, and KPMG accountants Stefán Hilmar Stefánsson, and Anna Thórdardóttir, are charged with giving misleading information on loans to shareholders, the board of directors, managing directors and others closely involved in Baugur’s annual reports from 1998 – 2001.

In charges 37 – 40 Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir, his father and sister are charged with evading import duties and preparing false documents in connection with automobiles they imported from the US. They are charged with evading paying ISK 2.3 million in taxes and import duties.

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