A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Human Rights Court To Review Insider Trader Case

Published June 5, 2012

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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Surgeons May Strike

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After failed attempts at negotiations with State authorities, surgeons at the national university hospital Landspítalinn will vote, later this week, on a potential strike. The strike action would commence in two weeks and postpone 150 operations each week. 5,000 people currently await operation, according to RÚV. In case of a strike, surgeons would still do emergency operations. Minister of Healthcare, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, has said that he supports the surgeons’ demands and will discuss the matter with Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson.

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Minister Proposes Privatization To Finance New Hospital

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Healthcare Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson has proposed that the State sell some assets to finance the construction of new hospital building. In a radio interview broadcast by RÚV Wednesday morning, he stated: “We should proceed by transferring assets that belong to Icelanders in common to another form of ownership, in order to be able to reconstruct our national hospital, as everyone agrees we must do.” As journalist Jóhann Hauksson already pointed out, in pre-2008 Icelandic, ‘transferring assets to another form of ownership’ would have been simply called privatization. The Minister evaluates State assets at a total neat 1,000 billion ISK,

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Geir Haarde Lands Washington D.C Ambassadorial Post

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Former Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir H. Haarde, has landed a pivotal ambassadorial post in Washington D.C, reports RÚV. Geir is most known for being prime minister during Iceland’s 2008 economic meltdown. In 2010, parliament voted in favour of Geir standing trial for negligence and mismanagement while in office. Geir was eventually found guilty of one of the four charges of negligence levied against him. As reported, the charge was that he either knew or should have known that he had to respond in some way to the information he had been receiving that the economy was unstable. Prosecutor Sigríður

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Iceland Sends Men Only To UN Conference On Women

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Iceland, considered a global leader in gender equality, has announced it will send only men to a U.N. conference on women and gender equality, reports ABC. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders on Monday that the January “barbershop” conference will be unique, “as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only male leaders to discuss gender equality.” It won’t however, be the first time in history that male leaders get together to discuss women’s issues, without any women present. According to Gunnar Bragi, the

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Tax Committee Chair: “No Choice” But For Government To Buy Tax Evasion Evidence

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The chairperson of parliament’s Tax and Economics Committee believes the Icelandic government should buy evidence of tax evasion, a sample of which has already been offered to authorities. RÚV reports that Frosti Sigurjónsson, a Progressive MP and the chairperson of the Tax and Economics Committee, believes the government should pay to receive only legal documentation of Icelanders evading taxes. If the documents were illegally obtained, he added, this detail would certainly “complicate” matters. “If it’s true what I’ve heard, that the Germans have gone this way, buying this kind of information, than I believe we have no choice but to

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No Known Icelanders In ISIS

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The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police confirms there is no evidence that any Icelanders have joined forces with the theocratic extremist group ISIS. Vísir reports that they sent a formal inquiry to the police on the matter, and were informed that – to the best of anybody’s knowledge – no Icelandic citizens have joined forces with ISIS. As far-fetched as the possibility may sound, European Union anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove told the BBC that over 3,000 EU citizens have already joined ISIS. Closer to home, Vísir adds that at the beginning of the summer, Danish secret services revealed

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