From Iceland — Judge Will Not Be Forced To Leave Trial Over "Lack Of Impartiality" Accusations

Judge Will Not Be Forced To Leave Trial Over “Lack Of Impartiality” Accusations

Published October 7, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

Reykjavík District Court has dismissed a request that a judge in the so-called Marple Case recuse himself for allegedly lacking impartiality on the matter.

Kjarninn reports that Hörður Felix Harðarson, the lawyer for former Kaupþing director Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, filed a motion with the Reykjavík District Court that one of the judges in the case, Ásgeir Brynjar Torfason, recuse himself from the trial. The motion was filed on the grounds that Felix believes Ásgeir cannot exercise impartiality in the case.

The allegations are based on Ásgeir’s involvement with Gagnsæi, an anti-corruption group, as well as for his posts and “Likes” on social media with news stories related to the case.

Vísir reports, however, that this motion has been denied by the court. Hreiðar could appeal the matter to the Supreme Court after the District Court passes its verdict, which is expected this Friday.

Four people are facing charges ranging from fraud to embezzlement in the so-called Marple Case, Hreiðar amongst them. Former Kaupthing Director of Finance Guðný Arna Sveinsdóttir, former Kaupthing Luxembourg director Magnús Guðmundsson and investor Skúli Þorvaldsson have been charged as well.

The case centres around accusations that the four were involved in transferring some 8 billion ISK from Kaupthing into Marple Holding, which is owned by Skúli. The accused could face up to six years in prison if found guilty. Last March, Hreiðar Már was found guilty of market manipulation while working at Kaupþing.

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