From Iceland — State Ordered To Pay Damages For False Imprisonment

State Ordered To Pay Damages For False Imprisonment

Published February 5, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

One of the accused in a notorious raid of an illegal casino has been awarded damages for false imprisonment following his arrest.

Vísir reports that the accused was awarded 400,000 ISK in damages, to be paid by the Icelandic government, for false imprisonment incurred from December 18 to 21 of 2012.

The man was one of four arrested in a police raid of the Poker and Play casino in east Reykjavík. The accused originally sought 3 million ISK in damages, or 300,000 ISK for every day he was in custody.

However, Reykjavík District Court ruled that there was some cause for keeping the suspect in custody. For example, a great deal of the casino’s earnings were found to go directly into his personal bank account during a time when he was officially unemployed. At the same time, the court found no cause to hold him beyond December 18, and awarded damages accordingly.

As reported, the four were found guilty of having engaged in professional gambling and money laundering that generated some 170 million ISK in profits.

As such, all four arrested suspects in the casino ring received prison time. One man was sentenced to 12 months in prison, nine of which are probational, while the other man and the woman were each sentenced to nine months in prison, six of which are probational. They were also sentenced to pay the legal fees for their defense.

Witnesses testified that the casino’s winnings went to the owners and staff. While the defendants contended that the casino was merely a “social club”, data collected showed that money from debit card machines at the location went directly into the pockets of the accused.

Eight were initially arrested in a police raid on the casino in December 2012. Some 550,000 ISK in cash was found on the scene, some of it stashed in a freezer.

Professional gambling is illegal in Iceland, and although attempts have been made to legalise it, the public remains decidedly against the idea.

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