The newspaper DV is seeking to sue perennial presidential candidate and peace activist Ástþór Magnússon for libel. He was arrested yesterday when he refused to show up in court for questioning.
The matter surrounds a website, sorprit.com, which encourages people to boycott any business that advertises in DV, and also asks businesses to stop advertising in the paper as well. “Sorprit” itself loosely translates as “trash paper”. The website, which has not been updated since 2008, accuses the paper of publishing misinformation and falsehoods.
The company which owned DV at the time, Birtingur, believes that Ástþór is behind the website, and has sought to sue him for damages.
Ástþór, for his part, refused to show up for a scheduled interrogation on 30 December, and was thus arrested yesterday and brought in for questioning. At the meeting’s conclusion, he was released.
Ástþór is a controversial figure in Iceland. He has run for president on several occasions, and his political party – the Democracy Movement – ran for parliament in 2009. He is well-known for his outspoken opinions on the Icelandic political system. See the related article for more on Ástþór’s unique worldview.
ÁSTÞÓR MAGNÚSSON: “I am the only Icelander to have gone to prison for my beliefs about the war in Iraq.”