Published January 18, 2011
The security footage from the day the so-called Reykjavík Nine allegedly attempted to storm into parliament has been completely erased, except for four minutes that show a confrontation between the protesters and parliament security.
Guðlaugur Ágústsson, head of the security department at parliament, gave his testimony today on the first day of the trial of the Reykjavík Nine, who stand accused of having attacked security guards in an attempt to push their way into parliament on December 2008.
“I informed the police that we were being attacked; it was not a false claim,” Vísir reports Guðlaugur saying during the trial.
The protesters have contended that the police used excessive force against them upon their arrival. Guðlaugur, in going over the footage after the incident, made a copy of four minutes of the footage, wherein protesters and security appeared to be in a scuffle. The footage has been controversial, as details in the tape conflict with the official version of events.
Security footage of the entire incident could have given a better picture of what happened on that day, and possibly could have shown if the protesters’ allegations of police brutality were true.
The defending attorney for the Reykjavík Nine asked Guðlaugur, “Why was not the entire tape shown, instead of just that footage?”
“I was never asked for more,” Guðlaugur said. He then explained that the rest of the footage has been destroyed, because the parliamentary security tape only lasts ten days – it is then recorded over.
The judge then asked Guðlaugur if it was just a coincidence that the rest of the footage was unavailable.
“It was my decision to take out that portion of the material,” Guðlaugur said. When asked why he hadn’t used all the material on the footage, he replied, “I don’t remember.”
News website Pressan reports that parliament security guards who showed up to provide testimony were wearing their earpieces the entire time, even while on the stand. Objections were raised that this was possibly a breach of court regulations.
Trial Of Reykjavík Nine Begins Today