Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar, his relative Sheik Sultan and British lawyer Simon Soutall all refused to bear witness in a case concerning Al-Thani’s acquisition of more than five percent of shares in Icelandic Kaupþing Bank shortly before it collapsed in autumn 2008, as stated at the hearing at Reykjavík District Court today.
The headquarters of the now defunct bank Kaupþing. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
Al-Thani’s defense lawyers demand that the principal proceedings be postponed. However, the judge concluded that the schedule for the principal proceedings to begin on April 11 should remain unchanged, ruv.is reports.
New evidence was submitted at the court this morning, including transcripts of telephone conversations of Kaupthing’s employees in Luxembourg and the settlement agreement of Kaupþing’s winding-up committee with Al-Thani.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor issued a charge on February 17, 2012, against Ólafur Ólafsson, who was among largest shareholders in Kaupþing at the time, the bank’s former CEO Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former chair Sigurður Einarsson and former head of Kaupþing in Luxembourg, Magnús Guðmundsson, because of the acquisition.
Special Prosecutor Ólafur Þór Hauksson reasons that the dealings with Al-Thani were staged to maintain the price of shares in the bank and promote a false image of its condition. The acquisition is considered part of an extensive conspiracy of market abuse.
20.11.2012 | Charges Against Former Kaupþing CEO Dropped
10.10.2012 | Kaupþing Former CEO Strikes Back in Al-Thani Case