"This is not the law"
Sveinn Andri Sveinsson and Einar Oddur Sigurðsson, the defense lawyers of Sindri Snær Birgisson and Ísidór Nathansson, who are charged in the so-called terrorism case, argued this morning in a long defense on why the prosecution’s charges should be dismissed. Prosecutor Karl Ingi Vilbergsson asked that the claim be rejected.
According to Sveinsson and Sigurðsson, contradictions include charges, that fall under double jeopardy and that the prosecution did not adequately justify how the conversation between the accused involved in any way that they intended to commit the offences they discussed committing.
They also pointed out that the indictment took the conversations between Birgisson and Nathansson out of context in the indictment and did not clearly label the conversations as being cut out of context.
Oral arguments were held in the Reykjavík District Court this morning, but Birgisson and Nathansson were not present.
The accused, Sindri Snær Birgisson and Ísidór Nathansson, were not present at court this morning. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson
Charges still unclear
The first charge in the case was issued on December 9, 2022. The defendants were then charged with weapons offences and an attempt to commit a terrorist offence. The District Court dismissed the terrorism part of the case in February due to unexplained wording. There remains a charge of weapons violations. That was upheld by the National Court.
Then, in June, a new indictment was issued involving the terrorist section.
The defense lawyers for the accused are demanding dismissal of the charges, saying the prosecution did not adequately explain the charges. Birgisson is accused of planning to commit a terrorist act, Nathansson for inciting him and aiding him in the production of weapons.
"This advice is free"
The new indictment describes in paragraph 64 how the two men intended to commit a terrorist act. However, defense attorney Sveinsson said, “The conversation between the men and the preparations related to terrorism is not clear.”
They did indeed speak about blowing up the Althingi Parliament with a drone, but have shown no inclination to buy a drone. They did speak of driving into the Hljómskálagarður area into the Pride parade, but have not bought or rented a car to do so. Nathansson said he could help Birgisson obtain a police uniform, but he did not.
Sveinsson continued on to say that there is no justification for how, for example, it would involve committing a terrorist act if Birgisson posted messages to Nathansson online.
He also advised the prosecution, saying that it would have been simpler to dismiss the entire first charge initially. Then issue a new indictment that would address both the terrorism part and the weapons part. “This advice is free,” said Sveinsson, looking at the prosecutor.
The firearms sold?
Sigurðsson, who is defending Nathansson, pointed out a contradiction. He said that in one case they were charged with manufacturing of weapons to commit terrorist acts but were also charged with selling them.
He asked how humans could commit acts of terrorism using weapons they had already sold.
The prosecutor, Karl Ingi Vilbergsson and Sveinn Andri Sveinsson defense lawyer on their way to court. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
Prosecutor Karl Ingi Vilbergsson asked that the demand for deferral be rejected. The prosecution had complied with the instructions of Landsréttur on how the charges had to be explained. He said the defence’s case was out of hand.
“It’s complete nonsense,” Vilbergsson said in reply to Sveinsson’s advice, dismissing the possibility of double jeopardy.
He gave the following example: If a man broke into a home with a stolen gun, with the intent to commit murder, he would, of course, be charged with both theft and attempted murder.
"This is not the law," he concluded.