Tycoon Awarded Damages From Journalist

Published November 16, 2012

A journalist has been ordered by Reykjanes District Court to pay millionaire Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson damages for a story he wrote on his business practices.
About a year ago, DV reports, journalist Svavar Halldórsson wrote a story about Fons, the company which used to own IcelandExpress. In 2007, Fons had allegedly lent some 3 billion ISK to another company, Pace Associates, in Panama. This money then allegedly ended up in the pockets of three men, including Jón Ásgeir.
Jón Ásgeir, denying any wrongdoing, promptly sued Svavar, the journalist who reported the story. He asked for 3 million ISK in damages and that the actual text of the story pertaining to him be deemed dauð og ómerk, meaning that it would be stricken from the public record, making it illegal to re-print those words again.
Svavar, in his defence, testified that his reporting was based on sources both oral and written, and that he did not have to answer for their validity himself. However, as the Grapevine has reported, Icelandic law pertaining to tort actually gives people the choice of suing a journalist’s sources for libel – or suing the journalist themselves.
Although the court did agree that Svavar had shown sufficient effort in trying to reach Jón Ásgeir for his side of the story, the court ruled that Jón Ásgeir had suffered damage to his reputation based on the story, and that Svavar must pay 300,000 ISK in damages.



News
Iranian Asylum Seeker Denied Residence, May Be Deported In About 2 Weeks

Iranian Asylum Seeker Denied Residence, May Be Deported In About 2 Weeks

by

The Grapevine has received a copy of the decision from the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) stating that Iranian asylum seeker

News
No Sign Of Erupting, Katla Quakes Yet Again

No Sign Of Erupting, Katla Quakes Yet Again

by

Nearly 200 tremors were recorded around the volcano Katla over the past 24 hours, RÚV reports. Three of these tremors

News
Vast Majority Of Tourists Would Come Back To Iceland

Vast Majority Of Tourists Would Come Back To Iceland

by

A new poll conducted by Maskína for the Icelandic Tourist Board shows that nine out of ten tourists who visited

News
Collapsing Crane Likely Result Of Disabled Security Function

Collapsing Crane Likely Result Of Disabled Security Function

by

Further investigations into what caused a construction crane to buckle and collapse, narrowly missing the Bæjarins bestu hot dog stand

News
Prisoners’ Advocacy Group Issues Statement On Prison Reporting

Prisoners’ Advocacy Group Issues Statement On Prison Reporting

by

Afstaða, the Association for Betterment, has released a statement in response to a news story we reported on an ongoing

News
Patience Pays Off, When It Comes To The Aurora

Patience Pays Off, When It Comes To The Aurora

by

The Northern Lights abide the wishes of no one, but patience yielded quite a light show for those willing to

Show Me More!