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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Progressives Mock Muslims On Video

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Reykjavík’s two Progressive councilpersons showed up at a student party uninvited and held forth in an incident captured on video. Vísir reports that last Friday night, political science and economics students from the University of Iceland were holding a party at Hverfisgata 33. The upper floors of this building are home to a reception hall, as well as the offices of the Progressive Party. At some point in the evening, some of these Progressives decided to pay a visit. A student at the scene reported that the Progressives were having an event of their own on the floor below the

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Landowners Demand End To Smelter Pollution

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A group of landowners in Reyðarfjörður have told the Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminium smelter to stop the emission of fluoride in the area. Austurfrétt reports that the landowners’ group Landeigendur Áreyja has told the directorship to put an end to the omissions, which they say are far too high. Guðrún Kjartansdóttir, speaking to reporters on the matter, said that before the smelter was built, area residents were promised that they need not worry about any kind of fluoride pollution from the smelter. “We were told that this would be a very hi-tech and perfect smelter,” she said. “It is unacceptable to

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Immigrant Wins Work Permit Challenge Against Government

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An immigrant from Iran has won a court case against the Icelandic government, after he was denied a work permit on grounds the court found insufficient. MBL reports that the man in question came to Iceland from Iran in 2011, originally on a student permit. Later in the year, he bought an import company, taking a seat on the directorship and registering himself as the managing director. After buying the company, the man changed the company’s name, and began to import silk and carpets from the Middle East, as well as dates, nuts and other foodstuffs. However, in March 2013

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Volcano Watch: Bárðarbunga And Holuhraun Update

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Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside at the same rate as before, roughly half a metre per day, reports the Institute of Earth Sciences. Large earthquakes are still being detected in the Bárðarbunga caldera, several with a magnitudes over 3, some over 5. The lava production at the currently active Holuhraun eruption continues to be strong. The lava flow is now around the centre of the lava field, which has grown to around 37 square kilometres. As reported, scientists in the field estimate that around 90% of the SO2 gas coming from the eruption originates in the active craters and only 10%

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Creditors Closer To Pay Out

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The outlook for hedge funds caught in Iceland’s $85 billion banking failure may be looking up, reports Bloomberg. The administrators overseeing claims against one of the three banks that defaulted in 2008, Glitnir Bank hf, say recent talks with a government committee indicate that it will now be easier to complete creditor settlements. “My impression is that the government had until now not been ready,” Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir, head of Glitnir’s winding-up committee, told Bloomberg. “Now that they’ve got their processes in place, it will be possible to complete this sooner rather than later.” The main obstacle to repaying creditors has

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Poison Gas Cloud Heading Northeast

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The Icelandic Met Office predicts sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas from the Holuhraun eruption will move north and east over the next 24 hours. As can be seen, the Met Office has two maps for predicted areas where significant levels of SO2 will be present. Egilsstaðir and Reyðarfjörður are expected to be hit the hardest by the gas, which continues to pour out of the Holuhraun eruption site. However, levels of SO2 will vary from region to region, and even from hour to hour. A more detailed map allows one to see the forecast movement of SO2 concentrations through Tuesday. Simply

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