Ólafur Páll Sigurdsson, spokesman for the environmental protection organization Saving Iceland was found not guilty by the District Court of East Iceland of having damaged property during protests against heavy industry projects yesterday.
According to yesterday’s ruling, the complainant failed to submit both an objective evaluation of the damage and prove the actual repair cost.
In July 2006 police were patrolling the eastern highlands where a group of protesters were staying in the Snaefell cabin who had earlier accessed the Kárahnjúkar area without permission.
The protestors were angered when police took photos of them, especially Sigurdsson.
Sigurdsson and the police officer on the scene did not agree on what happened next.
Police claimed Sigurdsson had been shouting threats and stepped in front of the vehicle while it was being driven slowly, then hit the hood of the vehicle, kicked its side and punched the rear window.
Sigurdsson said the driver hit him with the police car so that he was thrown up onto the hood but managed to save himself by jumping to the side and pushing down on the hood with his hands.
The jury concluded the testimony of the police officers was not satisfactory since they did not have the evidence to support it. Sigurdsson was therefore cleared of the charges and legal cost will be covered by the state treasury.
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