From Iceland — No "Special Treatment" For Convicted Bankers

No “Special Treatment” For Convicted Bankers

Published February 26, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

Director of the Icelandic Prison Service Páll Winkel wants the general public to know that the convicted Kaupthing bankers will not be treated any differently than other prisoners.

In the wake of convictions of four former Kaupthing bankers, one of those convicted – former Kaupthing co-owner Ólafur Ólafsson – is already behind bars, so to speak, at the Kvíabryggja prison (shown above). While the prison is normally reserved for those serving two years or less, Ólafur was sentenced to four and a half years. This has raised concerns from prisoners that Vísir spoke to that Ólafur might be in for the kit-glove treatment.

Not so, says Páll.

“Our job here is based solely on the enforcement of the law,” he told reporters. “I have no interest in treating some prisoners different from others and wouldn’t be able to get away with it, either.”

Páll points out that literature on Kvíabryggja outlining the two-years-or-less rule is out of date. In reality, prisoners can serve up to three years at Kvíabryggja. By Icelandic law, prisoners must serve at least half their sentence before being eligible for parole. Longer prison sentences are usually served at the Litla Hraun prison.

According to official information on the prison, there are “neither bars on the windows nor is the prison area fenced off any differently than an ordinary farm”. Prisoners who serve their time there are considered non-violent and “trustworthy”. Located in Grundarfjörður, Kvíabryggja offers work for the prisoners, as well as a gym and “a little golf course”.

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