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

MP Charged With Fraud And Accepting Bribes

Published November 22, 2012

Charges have been filed with the Special Prosecutor concerning a member of parliament, who is accused of committing fraud and accepting bribes.
RÚV reports that charges have been filed against Independence Party MP Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, his wife, and Sigurjón Þ. Árnason, the former manager of Landsbanki. The charges were filed by Gunnar Ander­sen, the former director of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland, who is himself accused of having broken the law during his time on the job.
The charges against Guðlaugur are connected to Gunnar. Guðlaugur is accused of having engaged in fraud and accepting bribes in business he conducted between Landsbanki and the investment company Bogmannsins ehf. in 2003. Gunnar is accused of having used his position to help seal the deal between the bank and the private company. Gunnar told reporters that filing the charges was necessary for the sake of building his own defence in a court of law.
Guðlaugur appears to be relaxed about the matter, DV reports, telling reporters, “I’m not worried about this. There’s nothing special about this business deal that happened nearly a decade ago, and people can look into it all they like.”
Guðjón Ólafur Jónsson, Gunnar’s lawyer, told reporters that police will begin their investigation of Guðlaugur shortly.



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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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Special Prosecutor Accused Of Illegal Phone Taps

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A former employee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor says the office tapped phones of suspects illegally. The Minister of Justice believes the matter needs to be investigated. In an interview with Fréttablaðið, former Special Prosecutor’s Office employee Jón Óttar Ólafsson said that the office listened in on illegal taps of phone conversations of clients and lawyers alike. Both the Special Prosecutor (shown above) and the State Prosecutor have dismissed the allegations as completely untrue. However, RÚV reports that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson – serving in his capacity as acting Justice Minister – believes the matter warrants further

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