Kristján Viðar Júlíusson, one of five who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in Iceland’s most infamous disappearance case, has sued the Icelandic state for ISK 1.4 billion ($11.1m/€10.1m) in compensation, RÚV reports. Kristján Viðar was one of five individuals acquitted in 2018 after the so-called Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case was reopened. The lawsuit will be filed in Reykjavík District Court this Thursday.
Kristján considers he has the right to receive compensation because he was wrongfully convicted guilty for nearly 40 years, as well as serving a prison sentence of 7.5 years. Kristján is the second of the case’s plaintiffs to sue the state: Guðjón Skarphéðinsson has done so as well, demanding ISK 3 billion ($23.8m/€21.7m) in compensation. Of the five wrongfully sentenced, only Sævar Ciesielski spent more time in prison than Kristján Viðar.
The state awarded compensation to the three living defendants in the case at the end of last month, as well as to the spouses and children of the two deceased. Kristján has now sued the state demanding to be paid the difference between the amount he originally demanded and the amount he received.
When asked about Guðjón’s lawsuit, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir stated: “ Of course, it’s always difficult to put a price on such things and that will really never be done. These kinds of things will never be fixed with money. But of course we understand if people want to go to court and seek further justice.” Guðjón’s lawyer Ragnar Aðalsteinsson has argued that compensation for the plaintiffs should be higher. “High compensation has a range of effects. It is part of the pardon, but also acts as a restraint on police and judicial authorities in the future, to be more careful than they have been in this case, in the hope that something like this won’t repeat itself in the coming years and decades.”
The Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case is one of the most notorious cases in Icelandic criminal history. Read more about the case.