Trial over Reykjavík 9 Begins Skip to content

Trial over Reykjavík 9 Begins

The trial over the nine people who are accused of having attacked Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, on December 8, 2008 during a series of protests following the banking collapse in October that year began in Reykjavík District Court yesterday.

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From the 2008 protests outside Althingi. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

It was revealed that the senior parliamentary guard, Gudlaugur Ágústsson, decided on his own initiative to save a video clip from Althingi’s security camera where one can see the nine defendants barge into the building, Fréttabladid reports.

However, other recordings showing events before and after that incident were not saved and were automatically deleted after seven to ten days. The video clip preserved by Ágústsson is now being used as evidence in the case against the Reykjavík 9.

“It is unfortunate that the largest part of the video was not preserved as it could have shed light on incidents that play a significant part in the production of evidence in this case,” commented Supreme Court lawyer Brynjar Níelsson, who represents two of the defendants, pointing out that some of the charges are based on alleged violations that should have been seen on that video.

The nine defendants maintain that they had not entered the parliamentary building unauthorized; nothing had indicated that the gallery was closed.

Some of them refused to answer questions as to why they entered the building; others said they had wanted their views to be heard.

Yesterday defendants and parliamentary guards testified, today the court will hear the testimonies of police officers and parliamentarians.

According to visir.is, every seat is taken in courtroom 101 at Reykjavík District Court where the proceedings are taking place.

In his testimony, police officer Albert Örn Sigurdsson said one of the defendants, Andri Leó Lemarqui, had been inaccurate in his description of the events.

Sigurdsson said it isn’t true that he pushed Lemarqui down the stairs. However, he had helped force him to the ground. Lemarqui then bit him, the police officer stated, but thanks to the gloves he was wearing he didn’t inflict any injuries.

When asked whether he believed Althingi had been under a threat, Sigurdsson said he couldn’t estimate that. “There were fights everywhere, between police officers and others,” he commented.

On her Facebook profile, Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir described the trial over the Reykjavík 9 as “sad”, given that it is the only trial in relation to the banking collapse that has taken place.

Sigurdardóttir wrote that it is ridiculous to claim that these young protestors had played a key part in the difficult situation that reigned in Iceland after the collapse or that their actions had been a threat to the country’s administration.

The Reykjavík 9 have a live court blog in Icelandic and English where it was also announced that solidarity actions with the Reykjavík 9 have taken place in various locations around Europe and the US, such as protests outside the Icelandic Embassy in Paris on January 15.

Others events have been planned to occur; on January 31 a solidarity and support concert for the Reykjavík 9 is scheduled at the Polotti building in Grenoble, France.

Click here to read more about the Reykjavík 9.

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