The Curious Case Of The Paralysed Lawyer - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Curious Case Of The Paralysed Lawyer

Valur Grettisson
Photos by
DV.is
Sveinbjörn Gísli Þorsteinsson
Fréttablaðið

Almost six million ISK (€48,000) has been collected in a campaign to bring home an Icelandic woman who was paralysed in a dubious accident in Spain at the beginning of January.

The woman, Sunna Elvira Þorkelsdóttir, works as a lawyer in Iceland, but was staying with her boyfriend in Malaga, Spain, when the accident occured.

Double Trouble

As Fréttablaðið reports, the woman fell between floors of the house she was staying in, and is now paralysed. The Spanish police arrested her boyfriend shortly after the fact, under suspicion of his involvement in the accident. The man was released a week later. 

But, brace yourself, there’s a twist.

When Sunna’s boyfriend flew back to Iceland, he was arrested once again—this time for organising a massive drug smuggling operation to the country.

And this is where the story becomes plain weird. So bear with us, because the drug smuggling scheme is close to being hilarious. At least, as funny as serious crimes can be.

The special forces arrest the members of the chess association. Photo: DV.is

Like pawns in a game

The drugs were in fact sent via airmail to the office of the Icelandic Chess Federation, and were hidden in chess pieces. The newspaper DV reported that a special task force (the only police officers in Iceland that are allowed to carry firearms) came bursting into the headquarters of the Chess Federation and arrested the chairman, as he was the one who signed for the package.

Soon enough, however, the police claimed that all the members of the association had only been pawns in this course of events. Thus, they were released, as they weren’t under any suspicion of being actively involved.

More weirdness

But we aren’t done. As far as weird characters go, this story tops them all. 

Jón Kristinn Snæhólm is the lawyer who has been coordinating the campain to fly Sunna back home from her hospital. Jón is a controversial figure in Iceland, notorious—first and foremost—for his extremely conservative opinions, as well as for a peculiar TV show he hosted years ago. Think Fox News, in a very small society.

The funniest thing about Jón Kristinn however, is that while he was the right hand of former mayor in Reykjavík, Vilhjálmur Þ. Vilhjálmsson, who ran for the Independent party, he was also a manager for the highly controversial “pole fitness Iceland” competition.

In 2010, in fact, Jón Kristinn took the competitors to a notorious strip club, owned by an alleged gangster at the time. The owner of the competition had then to make a massive effort during the next days and weeks to explain to the Icelandic nation that Pole fitness was not a sleezy strip club act.

Jón Kristinn Snæhólm, the guy in the grey suit, with the competitors of pole fitness in Iceland.

You shall not pass

Now, back to the paralysed lawyer.

Although Jón Kristinn managed to collect the money to transport Sunna home from the Icelandic nation, he now claims that the Spanish authorities won’t give Sunna her passport back. Therefore, she can’t be transported home. Reporters have asked if this is because she might be connected to her boyfriend’s drug scheme, but he denies the claims entirely. In the meantime, the police in Spain have neither commented on this bizarre situation, nor explained why they will not give Sunna her passport back.

So this is how thing stands now. Three men are detained by the police, suspected of being involved with an Icelandic drug smuggling ring. None of them are connected to the Chess Federation, in any way. The paralysed lawyer, for whom €50,000 has been raised by the Icelandic people, is still in hospital in Spain, because authorities apparently won’t return her passport, with no clear answer as to why.

We’ll keep you posted if something new comes up in this peculiar case.  


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