The Glitnir winding-up committee has put forward a number of evidence in court in New York in connection with hundreds of billion ISK that the committee claims that Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, Hannes Smárason and others illegally stole from the bank when they owned a ruling share. According to visir.is the committee said that the cost of defending their case in New York is minimal compared to the high amounts they have stolen from the bank.
Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review
The committee also sued six individuals that it claims were business partners of Jóhannesson for a total of 240 billion ISK. The six are Hannes Smárason, former President of FL-Group, Pálmi Haraldsson who owned Sterling airlines, Iceland Express and other companies, Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir, the wife of Jóhannesson, Lárus Welding, former President of Glitnir bank, Thorsteinn M. Jónsson, former Chairman of Glitnir bank and Jón Sigurdsson, who took over as president of FL Group after Smárason quit.
Hannes Smárason. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review
Among the evidence the winding-up committee has put forward are facts that the committee says show the connection of the individuals to the US. Some of them lived there or conducted business in the States. The committee says it is determined to get the “gang” that emptied the bank from inside.
RÚV stated that many of the defendants claimed that they do not know English well enough to stand trial in the US. This seemed odd, considering the fact that some of them had gone to school in the US or lived there for a long time.
According to a sworn statement by Alexander Gudmundsson, former financial director of Glitnir, bank president Welding was too close to the bank’s owners. Welding had used his influence to secure loans for companies belonging to Jóhannesson, including FL Group and Baugur. According to Gudmundsson the bank’s loan’s to owners and related companies were too high. Gudmundsson will testify in New York, but among other witnesses is Bjarni Ármannsson, president of Glitnir before Jóhannesson and his business partners took over the bank.