From Iceland — Appellate Court Confirms District Court Ruling On Klaustur Case

Appellate Court Confirms District Court Ruling On Klaustur Case

Published January 17, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Few options are remaining for the four MPs who decided to take legal action against whistleblower Bára Halldórsdóttir in the notorious Klaustur case. Bára informed Grapevine yesterday that the Appellate Court has upheld a previous ruling from Reykjavík District Court, which rejected the demands of the four MPs currently seeking legal action against her in the Klausturgate case.

As reported, the four MPs in question—Bergþór Ólason, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir, all from the Centre Party—have called into question Bára’s version of events regarding how they were recorded in a public bar speaking abusively about their female colleagues. The group contend that they had a reasonable expectation that they could have their conversation without being listened in on or recorded. As such, their lawyer contends recording them constitutes “an illegal action against their freedom, peace, and reputations”.

The group therefore petitioned the court for documentation on Bára to back up their claims that she had employed “spy tactics” in recording them. The District Court rejected this request, and so the group appealed. With that appeal now struck down, there are few options left for them.

They could, conceivably, try to take the matter to the Supreme Court, but given the Appellate Court ruling, it is unlikely the Supreme Court will hear the case. They could also opt for private criminal proceedings in District Court, but as Bára recorded them speaking publicly in a public place, it is unclear what, if any, criminal charges could apply. They may also seek damages, but again, given previous rulings, it is unlikely any damages would be awarded to them.

As it stands now, the group are compelled to pay for all legal fees, both for themselves and for Bára.

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