Human Rights Court To Review Insider Trader Case

5.6.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
An Icelander convicted of insider trading has taken his case to the European Court of Human Rights. They will soon decide whether or not to take his case to trial.

As reported, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Baldur Guðlaugsson was, in 2008, privy to a great deal of financial information that the general public did not have. On September 2, 2008, he attended a meeting with the British finance ministry, where Icesave deposits were discussed. On September 17 and 18, he sold his shares in Landsbanki for 192 million ISK.

An investigation was launched almost immediately following the crash into Baldur's trading, with the Special Prosecutor freezing the 192 million ISK in November 2009. Sentenced by the Reykjavík District Court in April 2011 to two years in prison, he appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which upheld the district court's verdict. He is now in prison for his crimes.

Baldur, however, believes that his human rights were violated in how his case was handled. In particular, he contends that he was not allowed to introduce evidence that could have helped his case, that he was convicted of a crime for which he was not charged, and that the legal principle of ne bis in idim - wherein no legal action can be instituted twice for the same cause of action - was violated. As such, he has submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights for review.

RÚV now reports that the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to review his case and determine whether or not it should go to trial. The court is a difficult one to have a case tried, though, as most cases submitted to them are rejected.

A decision on whether or not to try Baldur's case will likely not be made until next year.

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