From Iceland — Judge Appointed To Infamous Murder Case

Judge Appointed To Infamous Murder Case

Published October 4, 2014

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has appointed Davíð Þór Björgvinsson, a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, to the 40 year-old Guðmundar- og Geirfinnsmál (the Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case), reports RÚV.

Sigmundur Davíð who is also temporarily serving as Minister of Justice, has asked Davíð Þór to determine whether or not to reopen the murder case, which has been a dark stain on Iceland’s police force and on the nation’s collective conscious.

Following a review of the way police handled the case back in the ’70s it came to light that the investigation’s six suspects were tortured and subjected to extreme interrogation tactics which included solitary confinement of over 600 days in some instances.

As reported, Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, a lawyer representing Erla Bolladóttir and Guðjón Skarphéðinsson, two of the people convicted for murdering Geirfinnur Einarsson and Guðmundur Einarsson, filed a formal request to reopen the case last month.

Guðmundur and Geirfinnur’s bodies were never found.

Earlier this week State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir recused herself from deciding whether or not to reopen the case. She declared a conflict of interest as one of the primary investigators in the case back in the 70’s was a family relation.

In 2013, a task force appointed by former Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson was assembled to review the Guðmundur and Geirfinnur Case. They concluded that the six suspects convicted for the murders likely had nothing to do with the disappearances at all and were the victims of investigators intent on making them confess.

Ögmundur, now an MP for the Left-Green Movement, plans to lobby for the reopening of the case in parliament.

This summer the BBC broadcast an in-depth report on the case which can be listened to here. Alternatively you can read the story by Simon Cox in full.

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