Custody Over Suspects in Hafnarfjörður Shooting Extended

police station reykjavík

The Metropolitan Police has extended the custody of two men involved in a December shooting in Hafnarfjörður by one week. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, Vísir reports.

Custody set to expire on January 11

As noted in an announcement by the Metropolitan Police, the custody of two men who fired shots in Hafnarfjörður in December has been extended by one week.

The incident occurred inside an apartment in Hafnarfjörður on Christmas Eve, where residents were present but unharmed. Initially, three individuals were arrested, although one was released on December 27. There was a significant police presence at the scene. 

The investigation of the case is ongoing, and the custody of the two men is set to expire on January 11, unless further extended.

Man Found Dead in East Reykjavík Believed to Have Been Murdered

A man found unconscious in East Reykjavík last weekend, and later declared dead at the hospital, is now believed to have been murdered, Vísir reports. The woman arrested at the scene is suspected of having caused his death.

Autopsy sheds light on likely cause of death

Ævar Pálmi Pálmason, Assistant Chief Superintendent at the Central Investigation Department of the Capital Area Police, suggests that all signs point to the likelihood that the man who was discovered unconscious in East Reykjavík last weekend was murdered, Vísir reports. The woman arrested at the scene of the incident is now suspected of having caused his death.

The man, who was in his sixties, was found unconscious in an apartment building in Bátavogur on Saturday, September 23. The police were notified about the man and attempted resuscitation, but he was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. “In the beginning, it was very unclear in what manner the man had died, but now there are indications that he was murdered,” Ævar stated in an interview with Vísir. He added that an autopsy now suggests foul play.

As noted by DV, the woman who was arrested on the scene of the incident was initially placed into custody based on investigative interests; but the police now believe that she was responsible for the man’s death. The woman was registered as residing at the home, and the man also appears to have stayed there.

According to RÚV, the man had injuries on his neck and also significant injuries to his genitals, although Ævar Pálmi refused to comment on the nature of the man’s wounds nor on what was believed to have been the cause of his death. Ævar did confirm, however, that a dead dog had been found inside the apartment. “One of the things that needs to be investigated is whether and in what way this dead dog is related to the case.”

As noted by Vísir, the current custody order expires tomorrow. When asked whether further custody of the woman would be sought, Ævar told Vísir that it would be revealed tomorrow. “There is much work to be done in this case, much data to collect, and many reports to take. We are fully engaged in investigating this case,” he concluded.

Woman Detained in Connection With Man’s Death in Reykjavík

police station reykjavík

A woman in her thirties has been placed in custody after a man was discovered deceased in an apartment building in Reykjavík last Saturday, Vísir reports. No further details on the investigation have been released.

Resuscitation efforts proved futile

On Saturday evening, the Capital Area Police was notified of an incident in an apartment building in East Reykjavík, Vísir reports.

Upon their arrival, the police discovered a non-responsive man in his fifties. Despite immediate resuscitation efforts, the man was later pronounced dead at the National Hospital.

A woman in her thirties was subsequently arrested and taken into custody. Yesterday, the Reykjavik District Court granted the Capital Area Police’s request, based on investigative interests, for the woman to remain in custody until September 27.

As per a police announcement, further details regarding the ongoing investigation will not be disclosed at this juncture.

This is the fourth time this year that a person has been placed under custody in a suspected murder case.

Long-Detained Suspect in Selfoss Murder Case Claims Innocence

Selfoss - Suðurland - Ölfusá

A man suspected of murdering a woman in Selfoss this spring denies having strangled her, RÚV reports. His attorney believes that the courts are bending the law by keeping the man in extended custody.

Unusual silence

Four months after a woman in her twenties was discovered dead in Selfoss, the cause of her death remains uncertain. The prime suspect claims he found her lifeless, and the man’s attorney argues that the prolonged detention of his client exceeds legal limits.

After the woman was discovered in a private residence in Selfoss on April 27, two stepbrothers, also in their twenties, were initially apprehended. The younger brother was released soon thereafter. An unusual silence has surrounded the investigation, uncommon for murder cases in Iceland, which RÚV suggests owes to the sensitive and ambiguous nature of the investigation.

Suspicious behaviour

As noted by RÚV, the police suspect the older brother of strangling the woman, as evidenced by marks on her neck. Initial autopsy results remain inconclusive, however, and the suspect refutes claims of violence. He alleges that he discovered the woman deceased in the bathroom, attributing her death to drugs.

Authorities question his delay in alerting emergency services; instead, the suspect is to have moved the body, performed CPR, and called his brother over to the house – prior to accompanying him for a car ride. The suspect later conceded his actions were misguided, citing shock and drug influence.

Urgent investigative interests non-existent

Recent updates in the case have solely concerned extensions to the suspect’s custody, now set until the end of the month. As noted by RÚV, this will mark his 18th week in custody, and the investigation is still ongoing. This is notable given that Article 95 of the Criminal Code limits detention to twelve weeks without an indictment, barring urgent investigative needs.

Vilhjálmur H. Vilhjálmsson, the suspect’s attorney, questions the “urgent investigative interests” justifying his client’s prolonged detention. “In my view, they don’t exist,” he stated in an interview with RÚV yesterday. Since assuming the defence role six weeks ago, Vilhjálmur maintained that he had observed no progress in the investigation, expressing concern over potential precedents sidelining the twelve-week rule. Such extensions are notably rare, especially of this magnitude.

When queried about the case’s peculiarities, Vilhjálmur stated: “The final autopsy report is yet to be obtained and there are some letters of request. However, my client can’t influence these outcomes, negating any investigative interests.” Vilhjálmur believes the prolonged detention, framed as investigative advocacy, is a ploy to grant police extended investigation time under the guise of public interest.

Suspect Detained in Connection With Selfoss Death Released

Selfoss - Suðurland - Ölfusá

The police in South Iceland have released one of the two men arrested in connection with the death of a young woman in Selfoss last week. The authorities are seeking extended custody over the other suspect.

Death at a private residence in Selfoss

Last Friday, two men in their twenties were arrested following the death of a woman at a private residence in Selfoss, South Iceland. Frímann Baldursson, Chief Inspector with the Selfoss Police, told Vísir at the time that the circumstances of the woman’s death remained “unclear” and that a preliminary investigation was underway.

Yesterday, the South Iceland Police announced that one of the men had been released from custody. The announcement also noted that the investigation into the woman’s death was still ongoing. The woman was named Sofia Sarmite Kolesnikova and she was 28 years old, Vísir reports.

“Recently, the police chief made a decision to release the second man from custody. A demand has been submitted to the district court for the other man to remain in custody, based on the interests of the investigation,” the announcement from the police reads.

Vísir also spoke to attorney Torfi Ragnar Sigurðsson, who is representing the young man who has been recently released from custody: “My client has been released from custody. The fact that he was released indicates that the police believe that he was not involved in the [woman’s death.]”

Two Men Detained Following Death of Young Woman in Selfoss

A woman in her twenties was found dead at a private residence in Selfoss yesterday. Two men, also in their twenties, have been detained by the police, Vísir reports.

Preliminary investigation underway

Two people were arrested yesterday following the death of a woman in her twenties at a private residence in Selfoss, South Iceland. Frímann Baldursson, Chief Inspector with the Selfoss Police, told Vísir that the circumstances of the death remain unclear and that a preliminary investigation was underway.

“There is a preliminary investigation underway. While we are investigating the case, two people are being held in custody. The circumstances are a bit unclear,” Frímann stated. As noted by Vísir, the South Iceland Police are being assisted by the technical department of the Capital Area Police, which is focused on determining how the woman’s death occurred.

RÚV reported on the story first.

Dubliner Gunman Arrested, to Be Held in Custody Until Friday

police lögreglan

The man suspected of having fired a gun inside the pub The Dubliner in downtown Reykjavík last weekend will be held in custody until 4 PM Friday, Vísir reports. The gunman was arrested Monday evening, following a 24-hour manhunt.

Suspect fled from the scene

Shortly after 7 PM Sunday, the capital area police were notified that a man had fired a gun inside The Dubliner bar in downtown Reykjavík. The bullet struck a wall adjacent to the bar, and the shooter fled the scene immediately.

The police responded quickly, dispatching a large unit, alongside special forces and ambulances, to the scene. Although no serious injuries were suffered, two bar patrons did require treatment: one suffered a cut on his head while the other expressed concerns about his hearing.

The police later recovered a firearm near the scene.

Following a 24-hour manhunt, the gunman – who is in his late twenties – was arrested on Monday evening. After interrogations yesterday, the man was brought before a judge shortly before 5 PM. The police requested that he be detained for a week, but the judge only agreed to hold him until 4 PM on Friday.

During a statement to the news on Monday, Grímur Grímsson, the Detective Chief Superintendent, did not rule out the possibility of a connection between this event and the knife attack that took place at the Bankastræti Club last year.

Europol Experts Believed Terror Suspects Posed Imminent Threat

Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court

The two men recently charged with planning a domestic terrorist attack were believed to pose an imminent threat by Europol experts, Vísir reports. A ruling made by the Court of Appeal, published yesterday, notes that the defendants had discussed launching an attack on Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, and the police authorities.

The Court of Appeal overturns custody ruling

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by Reykjavík’s District Court revoking the extended custody of two men recently charged with violating Article No. 100 of Iceland’s General Penal Code (pertaining to acts of terrorism). The Court of Appeal ruled that the defendants, who had been held in custody since September, were to be released on the basis of a mental assessment that concluded that they were not a danger to themselves or others.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal published its ruling on its  website. The judgment references the overturned Reykjavík District Court ruling, which notes that the police authorities had consulted with Europol experts on the case. Having reviewed the case files, the Europol experts concluded that the two men were likely to take imminent action and commit acts of terrorism in Iceland.

Had begun penning his own manifesto

As reported by Iceland Review earlier this year, when the defendants were arrested in September, the police seized semi-automatic rifles, including AK-47s and AR-15s, along with ammunition and components for 3D-printed guns. Court documents state that the police also seized an item that could be inserted into an AR-15 rifle so as to make it automatic.

Court documents also note that the men possessed material concerning known terrorists and their atrocities, in addition to manifestos. The suspect who is the subject of the ruling denied that he was planning an act of domestic terrorism, maintaining that comments concerning various terrorist atrocities were harmless: they had been made in jest and under the influence of alcohol. The same held for all the other material that they had acquired.

Court documents further maintain that the defendant had begun to pen his own manifesto.

Last night, RÚV reported that the District Attorney would yet again motion for custody.



Terror Suspect’s Defence Attorney “Astonished” by “Vague” Charges

Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court

Earlier today at the District Court of Reykjavík, formal charges were brought against two men suspected of planning a domestic-terror attack. A defence attorney for one of the suspects has told Vísir that he is “astonished” by the charges.

Custody extended by an additional four weeks

As reported earlier today, the District Prosecutor filed a motion for extended custody over two men suspected of planning a domestic terror attack earlier this year. The court approved the motion, and custody was extended for an additional four weeks.

Formal charges were also brought against the two suspects. One of the suspects was charged with an act of attempted terrorism and weapons offences. The other suspected was charged as an accomplice to an act of attempted terrorism, weapons offences, and a minor narcotics violation.

Hairy as a “chimpanzee’s back”

Speaking to Vísir today, Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, defence attorney for one of the suspects, stated that he was “astonished” by the charges: “They’re charged with unspecified offences against an unspecified group of people at an unspecified time between May and September. It’s as hairy as a chimpanzee’s back.”

According to Sveinn Andri, the police authorities had been too extreme in their initial operations. “The only attempted offence, in this case, was an attempt to destroy the lives of two young men,” Sveinn Andri observed.

“The charges are founded on weapons that they had hoarded. My client was not in possession of any weapons. There’s a reference to weapon production. These are probably the first terrorists who hoard weapons but then sell them before committing an act of terrorism, which must constitute a highly questionable for of preparation,” Sveinn Andri remarked.

Sveinn Andri added that he and his client would have to “roll with the punches.” They would begin by examining a motion for dismissal, given the vague nature of the charges.

“It’s complete nonsense. Terrible. You’ve completely upended the lives of these two young men on the basis of ego. The police jumped the gun in the beginning and everything that they’ve done since has been geared toward justifying that initial jump.”

Mass Arrests Put Pressure on Already-Strained Prison System

Hólmsheiði prison Iceland

Iceland’s prison system is operating at near maximum capacity. Three times as many individuals are being kept in police custody than usual, the Director General of Prison and Probation Administration has stated.

Record number of custody rulings

The police arrested 27 people following a knife attack at the Bankastræti Club in Reykjavík last Thursday. Twelve suspects have been kept in custody, with the police having yet to decide whether they will request custody over five additional suspects. Four other individuals connected to the attack remain on the lam, some of whom are believed to have fled the country.

Páll Winkel, the Director General of Prison and Probation Administration, told that a total of 60 people are currently being held in police custody – three times the usual number. Aside from the many arrests made in relation to the Bankastræti Club attack, there have also been numerous arrests made in connection with drug busts and violent crimes.

“It does, of course, put tremendous pressure on the system,” Páll observed, “detaining 15 prisoners in isolation. It calls for greater manpower and organisation; you need to safeguard investigative interests, that the prisoners don’t meet, while, at the same time, ensuring that their rights are being respected.”

“These are people aged 19 and up. These are Icelanders and foreigners, men and women, non-disabled and disabled persons, including one individual who’s blind.”

Most of the prisoners are being detained in the Hólmsheiði prison, although some have been transferred to Litla-Hraun. According to Páll, the design of Hólmsheiði has proven advantageous, as there are spaces equally suited to regular confinement and isolation.

Páll predicts that the situation will remain unchanged for a few more days but hopes that that will be the extent of it. “It puts tremendous strain on the system. Also because it happens to coincide with our effort to temporarily decrease the number of prisoners so as to operate within budget constraints.”

Budgetary constraints

Speaking to RÚV, Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson stated that the government had already taken steps to deal with the pressure on the prison system, with extensive renovations at the Litla-Hraun prison expected to be completed next year.

According to Jón Gunnarsson, there have been instances where prison sentences lapse owing to a lack of cells. “We must respond, and we are doing our best,” he stated, admitting that increasing the number of prison cells would take time and that bridging the gap could prove tricky.

“We’re not quite sure how; this additional pressure means additional operational costs, and we’ve even been in the position where we’ve been unable to fully use all of the prison cells because of budgetary constraints … we’re working on it.”