In a landmark ruling, Reykjavík District Court sentenced four former executives of Kaupthing Bank to between 3 and 5 1/2 years in prison for financial crimes dating back to 2008.
Vísir reports that former Kaupthing director Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson received the heaviest sentence: five and a half years, minus time already spent in custody. He was also sentenced to pay 33.4 million ISK in legal fees.
Former Kaupthing chairperson – and former Interpol fugitive – Sigurður Einarsson was sentenced to five years, and a total of 14.3 million ISK in legal fees.
Investor Ólafur Ólafsson was sentenced to three and a half years, and 20.6 million ISK in legal fees.
Former director of the Luxemborg branch of Kaupthing Magnús Guðmundsson was sentenced to three years in prison.
In the court’s opinion, the four conspired to conceal the fact that one of the investors in Kaupthing, Mohammad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, owned his 5.01% stake in the bank thanks to money lent to him by the bank itself.
Investigations into the four go back to the Icelandic bank crash of autumn 2008. In the wake of a report on the contributing causes of the crash from the Special Investigative Commission, the Special Prosecutor’s Office was created. The office targeted many top bank officials from Glitnir and Kaupthing.
Eva Joly, who at one point served as an assistant to the Special Prosecutor, told the Grapevine last year that Iceland should “be proud you invested in these investigations”, while cautioning to have patience – investigations were three years along at the time.
The four are expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. All of their prison sentences are non-probationary.