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Judge Appointed to Decide on Reopening of Murder Case

Nachrichten

Judge Appointed to Decide on Reopening of Murder Case

Supreme Court of Iceland

The Supreme Court of Iceland. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who is also temporarily serving as minister of justice, has assigned Davíð Þór Björgvinsson, a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, with the task of determining whether a 40-year-old murder case should be reopened, ruv.is reports.

Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, a lawyer representing Erla Bolladóttir and Guðjón Skarphéðinsson, two of the people who were convicted for murdering Geirfinnur Einarsson and Guðmundur Einarsson, who disappeared in 1974, filed a formal request for the reopening of the case to the State Prosecutor’s Office on September 4.

This week, State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir declared herself to be incompetent in deciding on the reopening of the case due to family relations with one of the primary investigators at the time.

In 2013, a task force appointed by former Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson concluded that the testimonies of the six defendants—in addition to Erla and Guðjón, Sævar Marínó Ciesielski, Kristján Viðar Viðarsson, Tryggvi Rúnar Leifsson and Albert Klahn Skaftason—both during questioning and at the trial were without doubt either unreliable or false. Originally they claimed their innocence but later changed their testimonies.

The task force’s members believe that the six individuals who were convicted for the murders of Guðmundur and Geirfinnur likely had nothing to do with their disappearance but that the investigators had been set on making them confess. The men’s bodies were never found.

Ögmundur, now MP for the Left-Green Movement, commented this week that he will lobby for reopening the case at parliament.

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