Fraud Case Defense Calls Julian Assange As Witness - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fraud Case Defense Calls Julian Assange As Witness

Published November 7, 2014

Prosecutor holds that demanding Assange to appear in Reykjavík is unrealistic

Haukur Már Helgason
Photos by
Hörður Sveinsson

Prosecutor holds that demanding Assange to appear in Reykjavík is unrealistic

Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson’s defense lawyer, Vilhjálmur H. Vilhjálmsson, has demanded that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, show up in the district court of Reykjavík as a witness in an ongoing case against Sigurður. This was reported by DV. Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson has been colloquially known as Siggi hakkari, or Siggi the hacker. Last year, he outed himself as an FBI-informant within Wikileaks. In the upcoming trial, Sigurður is accused of financial fraud, having among other things. According to one of the charges, Sigurður allegedly obtained an amount over € 40,000 by deceiving the owner of a webstore selling Wikileaks-related merchandise.

Vilhjálmur, Sigurður’s advocate, claims that Assange is a key witness in the case. Interviewed by DV, he said: “Julian was so to speak the defendant’s boss and permitted him to execute what he is now prosecuted for having done without permission.”

Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson and Julian Assange

The prosecution has replied that Assange, who has resided in asylum at Ecuador’s London embassy for two years, is willing to testify through telecommunications. Kári Ólafsson, speaking on behalf of the Police chie of Reykjavík, said that the prosecution demands the courts settle for that solution. He said it must be considered unlikely that Assange will leave the embassy premises any time soon: “… because if he doesn’t remain indoors, he faces extradition to another state. … In any case, he is not on his way to Heathrow, let alone to Iceland.”

In response, Vilhjálmur claimed that Assange is free to travel, adding that “each day, numerous flights leave from London to Iceland. All he has to do is walk out of Ecuador’s embassy, head over to Heathrow or Gatwick airport, fly to Keflavík and take a taxi.”

The current trial is one in a row of court cases against Sigurður Ingi, finding him accused of various offences. Recently out of jail for deceiving a 17 year old to engage in sexual activities, Sigurður is currently under custody, standing accused of other sexual offences.

The story of how Sigurður sought payments from the FBI for spying on Julian Assange and Wikileaks has been covered by numerous media outlets. See, for example, here, here, and here.

And, of course, here.

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