Morgunbladid reports that the National Police has summoned Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson for questioning in connection with alleged violations of the tax code. He is to appear on July 28 and further sessions will follow.
According to Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, the head of the Economic Crimes Division of the National Police, Jón H. B. Snorrason, says the case concerning the alleged tax violations is independent of the charges for alleged violations of the commercial and criminal code now being heard at District Court of Reykjavík.
According to RÚV, Jón Ásgeir’s attorney, Gestur Jónsson, claims that rules prohibiting the police from filing multiple charges in relation to one investigation are being violated.
In a statement issued yesterday, Jón Ásgeir claimed he had paid ISK 66 million in additional taxes for the years 1998 – 2003 in connection with the same issues the police wish to question him about. He says he has appealed the decision concerning the additional payments to the Tax Appeals Committee.
Separately, the District Court of Reykjavík has heard the motion of the attorneys for Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and Tryggvi Jónsson – current and former CEO of Baugur, respectively – to dismiss the charges filed against them by the special prosecutor, Sigurdur Tómas Magnússon. The charges were dismissed last year on technical grounds and refiled by the special prosecutor earlier this year.
The attorneys for the defense also alleged that the Minister of Justice had not been competent to appoint the special prosecutor because of the minister’s alleged interference in the case. Both the special prosecutor and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice have denied these allegations. According to RÚV, the special prosecutor said that the defense and the defendants were trying to distract attention from the case by making accusations against the police, the prosecutor and the minister.