Published March 13, 2013
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a representative to Turkey to assist Davíð Örn Bjarnason, the 28-year-old Icelander who has been imprisoned since Friday after being accused of attempting to smuggle antiquities from the country, RÚV reports.
For the past five days Iceland’s Consul General in Turkey has been attempting to determine when Davíð would be released, but no definitive date has been given by Turkish authorities. Davíð’s family had been told that the accused would be permitted to call them this week, however nobody has heard from him.
Of the decision to send a representative from Iceland, Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson highlighted the benefit to Davíð just to be able to communicate his situation and state his case in Icelandic, as he has not ad the opportunity to do so to date. The Ministry is also securing legal representation for Davíð, though it may not be able to cover all the costs associated with a trial as and when that might take place.
Davíð and his girlfriend, Þóra Björg Birgisdóttir had been vacationing in Antalya, Turkey where they claim to have purchased a piece of stone from a market as a souvenir. Upon attempting to board their return flight to Sweden (where the Icelandic couple lives with their three young children) on Friday they were apprehended by Turkish police. Þóra was subsequently released and made to return to Sweden, while Davíð has been held.
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