Acquittal of Icelandic bankers appealed

Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson (left), Sigurður Einarsson middle) and Magnús Guðmundsson ...

Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson (left), Sigurður Einarsson middle) and Magnús Guðmundsson (right).

Iceland’s public prosecutor has lodged an appeal against the acquittal of three senior Icelandic bankers cleared of lending unauthorised money back in January.

In a case with has become known in Iceland as the ‘Chesterfield case’ – after the name of one of the companies receiving money from the now-defunct Kaupþing bank – three of the bank’s senior executives were cleared of breach of trust charges in a “shock” acquittal by Reykjavik District Court.

Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson (former Director of Kaupþing bank), Sigurður Einarsson (former board chairman) and Magnús Guðmundsson (former CEO of Kaupthing Luxembourg) were charged with breach of trust after lending over €500 million to two foreign companies in 2008 without authorisation from the bank’s lending committee.

The total lent corresponds to just under ISK 70 billion at 2008 rates. According to an assessment by the special prosecutor, this money is lost.

The acquittal has now been appealed against by the public prosecutor and the case will be reopened.

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