Reykjavík Nine Trial: Policeman Called “Idiot”, MPs Not Bothered, Witness Asks To Be Charged With Crime

Published January 20, 2011

The second day of the Reykjavík Nine trial continues to never have a dull moment.
Police who had arrived at parliament on the day that nine protesters allegedly tried to force their way into the building testified yesterday. Officer Ellert Björn Svavarsson said that they had received a call that parliament had been attacked. Upon arrival and entering the building, they discovered that “there were undesirable people in the parliament gallery”. Several arrests were made, with charges including not following a police order.
One police officer who testified, Guðmundur Ingi Rúnarsson, has been accused by the protesters of using excessive force. He allegedly struck Andra Lemarqui in the face several times at the time of the arrest. When asked whether this was true, he told the court that he did not recall doing so.
“You never remember anything!,” someone shouted from the court. “Damned idiot!”
Defence attorney Ragnar Aðalsteinsson asked Guðmundur Ingi why only these nine were arrested. The officer explained that the nine had been violent. When Ragnar then asked what the situation was like outside of parliament, among the crowds of protests, the officer responded, “It was worse.”
Another witness for the defence was Lárus Páll Birgisson, who also took part in the protests of December 2008 and had also attempted to enter parliament, but was never charged with a crime. The defence is taking the position that if the nine charged had committed a crime, then this raises the question of why the close to 30 others who did the same thing were not charged.
Lárus took the stand and gave his testimony of events that day. When the questions were finished, Lárus said, “Wait, is that it? I should also be charged.”
The judge told Lárus that this was neither the time nor the place for such a statement. “Am I not in a courtroom?,” Lárus responded, provoking laughter in the crowd.
Another witness who testified was Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson, who at the time of the incident was Minister of Industry, and was in the halls of parliament that day.
Össur displayed his trademark way with words by saying that when police had come to arrest the nine, he had heard shouting, but that he heard much more shouting that day from the parliamentary podium itself.
He also testified that he himself had visited the parliamentary gallery in his younger days, and in fact held his first public speech from that gallery. He added that he had not been arrested for the event.
Einar K. Guðfinnsson, another MP who was in the halls of parliament that day, testified that he was not particularly afraid when the nine protesters in question appeared in the gallery.
Today there are protests scheduled in front of parliament at 11:00. If Facebook activity is any indication, many are expected to attend.
Related:
Trial Of Reykjavík Nine Continues: Yesterday’s Trial Reaches Surreal Proportions, Prime Minister Calls It “Sad”
Reykjavík Nine Trial: Evidence Destroyed
Trial Of Reykjavík Nine Begins Today
Liveblog from the trial (in English)



News
Police Chief Broke Law In Asylum Seeker Leak Case

Police Chief Broke Law In Asylum Seeker Leak Case

by

The Data Protection Authority (DPA) has ruled that Reykjavík Police Chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, during her time as Suðurnes Police

News
Reykjavík Experiments With Shorter Work Week

Reykjavík Experiments With Shorter Work Week

by

The city of Reykjavík will be making a tentative experiment with a shorter full-time work week for some of their

News
Volcano Has Maybe Stopped Erupting, Not 100% Sure

Volcano Has Maybe Stopped Erupting, Not 100% Sure

by

Víðir Reynisson, Department Head at Iceland’s Civil Protection has told RÚV that although it looks as if Holuhraun has stopped

News
Netflix Coming To Iceland

Netflix Coming To Iceland

by

Sam Film have closed a deal with streaming giant Netflix to bring the service to Iceland, reports RÚV. It is

News
Banks Made Over 80 Billion ISK Last Year

Banks Made Over 80 Billion ISK Last Year

by

Iceland’s three banks made a combined total of 81.2 billion ISK last year alone, showing an increase of over 25%

News
Tourist Business Unhappy With Civic Protection

Tourist Business Unhappy With Civic Protection

by

While Civic Protection in Iceland has been diligent about protecting Icelanders and tourists alike from the dangers of the Holuhraun

Show Me More!