Iceland Review

Icelandic State Was Deceived in Bank Sale

Posted 31/03/2017 - 08:31 by anrigaut

2017-03-28 23

The German bank Hauck & Aufhäuser was never an actual investor in Búnaðarbankinn bank when the Icelandic State’s 45.8 percent stake in the latter was sold in January of 2003. This is the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) of Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, RÚV reports. SIC concludes that authorities were systematically deceived leading up to and following the sale.

A press release from the committee states that detailed written documents indisputably show that the German bank, Kaupþing hf. In Iceland, Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg, and a group of men working for and on behalf of investor Ólafur Ólafsson used secret agreements to hide the true ownership of shares attributed to Hauck & Aufhäuser. The actual owner was instead the offshore company Welling & Partners, registered on Tortola, the British Virgin Islands. With numerous secret agreements and transfers of funds, among others from Kaupþing hf. to an account of Welling & Partners at Hauck & Aufhäuser, the German bank was guaranteed indemnity in the deal with Búnaðarbankinn.
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Supreme Court Hears Kaupþing Case

Posted 19/09/2016 - 13:55 by anrigaut

2016-09-08 23

Hearings began in the Icelandic Supreme Court in the Kaupþing bank market manipulation case at 8 am today, Vísir reports. This is one of the largest economic crimes to reach Icelandic courts, but altogether nine people are accused in the case, for market manipulation and/or breach of trust between November 1, 2007, and October 8, 2008.

Among the accused are Kaupþing’s leaders before the 2008 financial crisis: Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former director of the bank, Sigurður Einarsson, former board director and Ingólfur Helgason who directed the bank in Iceland.

All three received sentences without probation in the Reykjavík District Court in June last year. At the time, four others received sentences with probation, and one woman was acquitted. Some charges against the bank’s director in Luxembourg, Magnús Guðmundsson, were dismissed, but he was acquitted of others.

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[The prosecutor] would like to see all those accused in the case sentenced and a heavier sentence for those who were found guilty in district court. Furthermore, he would like to see the dismissed charges against Magnús Guðmundsson reconsidered.

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More Kaupthing Executives jailed

2015-06-25 23

Six defendants in the Kaupþing market manipulation case, the biggest case of this type in Iceland’s history, have been handed prison sentences ranging from one year to four years and six months.

By fully financing share purchases with no other surety than the shares themselves, the bank was accused of giving a false and misleading impression of demand for Kaupþingi shares by means of deception and pretence.
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See also here: http://icelandreview.com/news/2015/06/26/more-kaupthing-execs-jailed
and here: http://uti.is/2015/06/yet-another-fraud-investigation-ending-in-prison-s...

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Al-Thani Case Most Likely Postponed by Ten Months (updated)

Posted 24/04/2013 - 16:03 by anrigaut

2013-04-23 23

The trial of the Al-Thani case will most likely be postponed by ten months because defense lawyers Gestur Jónsson and Ragnar H. Hall resigned from the case against the judge’s wishes. The judge met with the prosecutor and new defense lawyers on Monday.
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Update 25 Apr: Now scheduled to begin on 21 0ct under a new judge (and new defence lawyers):
http://uti.is/2013/04/yet-another-unexpected-turn-in-the-al-thani-case/

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Sheiks Refuse to Bear Witness in Kaupþing Case

Posted 08/03/2013 - 11:23 by anrigaut

2013-03-07 (All day)

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.

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.

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Icesave Verdict

Posted 28/01/2013 - 12:03 by anrigaut

2013-01-28 (All day)

Iceland has won both its cases in the Icesave trial. The EFTA Court ruling on Icesave rejected all claims by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) that Iceland should be declared in breach of the EEA Agreement.

According to a statement on the verdict from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Court rejected the claim that Iceland had breached the Deposit Guarantee Directive and had discriminated against depositors contrary to EEA law. ...

See also Sigrun's blog, with the Court's press release, here: http://uti.is/2013/01/iceland-the-winner-in-the-esa-case-at-the-efta-court/

and statement by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs here: http://www.mfa.is/news-and-publications/nr/7515

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Charges Against Former Kaupþing CEO Dropped

Posted 21/11/2012 - 08:31 by anrigaut

2012-11-20 (All day)

All charges against former CEO of Kaupþing Luxembourg Magnús Guðmundsson in the so-called Al-Thani case have been dropped. The verdict by Reykjavík District Court came at around 9 am this morning and has already been appealed at the Supreme Court. ...

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Kaupþing Former CEO Strikes Back in Al-Thani Case

Posted 10/10/2012 - 22:23 by anrigaut

2012-10-09 23

Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former CEO of Kaupþing, who is among defendants in the so-called Al-Thani Case, reasoned in a statement submitted to Reykjavík District Court this week that he was not responsible for laws violated by his subordinates in the case. ...

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Justice??? Former Landsbanki Director Sentenced to Prison

Posted 27/06/2012 - 06:07 by glen07

2012-06-26 14

26.06.2012 | 00:15

Former Landsbanki Director Sentenced to Prison

Haukur Þór Haraldsson, former managing director of Landsbanki’s operational division, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for embezzlement by the Reykjavík District Court on Monday, visir.is reports.

It was the third time that the case was heard by the court. Haukur Þór had earlier been acquitted of the charges and then later sentenced to two years in prison.

According to visir.is, Haukur Þór was charged with having transferred ISK 118 million (USD 935,000; EUR 750,000) from Landsbanki’s subsidiary, NBI Holdings Ltd., to his own account following the banking collapse in October 2008.

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PwC Sues Glitnir Bank Winding-Up Committee

Posted 13/04/2012 - 10:28 by anrigaut

2012-04-12 23

The legal representative of the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has filed a charge for damages against the winding-up committee of Glitnir Bank because of the committee’s legal proceedings against PwC before New York courts in 2010 and 2011.
PwC is asking for ISK 82 million (USD 642,000, EUR 489,000) with interests and collection fees, Morgunblaðið reports.

Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir, who chairs Glitnir’s winding-up committee, confirmed that they had received the charge and said the committee will take a position on it next week.

The winding-up committee’s case against PwC and others, which was known as the Glitnir Seven Case in the media, ended with dismissal by the judge who reasoned it should not be heard in New York.

Legal proceedings have continued in Iceland; Glitnir’s winding-up committee’s case against PwC opened in Iceland on April 12.

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