Former Kaupthing chairman Sigurður Einarsson – for a long time a fugitive from Iceland, wanted by Interpol and holed up in the UK – has returned to native soil to undergo questioning from special prosecutor Ólafur Hauksson.
For those who might not remember, shortly after former Kaupthing manager Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson and two staff members close to him, Steingrímur Kárason and Ingólfur Helgason, were arrested last May, the special prosecutor announced that Sigurður was now wanted by Interpol. Sigurður was obstinate, insisting that he would not return to Iceland without assurances that he would not be arrested and detained, and refused to leave his home in the UK. His lawyer – attorney for the rich and powerful Ian Burton – accused the special prosecutor of behaving “like John Wayne in a cowboy movie.” The matter seemed to have stalemated, and for a long time, Sigurður was off the radar.
Yesterday, Sigurður returned to Iceland. He is expected to undergo questioning today. According to RÚV, the warrant for his arrest was withdrawn, so perhaps a deal was worked out, despite the fact that sources close to Fréttablaðið state that no deal was made between Sigurður and the special prosecutor.
Sigurður faces charges of fraud and market manipulation.
Special prosecutor Ólafur Hauksson would not comment on the matter, saying only that new information has come to light that makes the case “bigger and more complicated”. Sigurður’s icelandic lawyer, Gestur Jónsson, was also tight-lipped, as was Ian Burton.