Defendants in Aurum Case Deny All Charges

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Defendants in Aurum Case Deny All Charges

districtcourtAll four defendants in the so-called Aurum case denied charges when the case was filed at Reykjavík District Court yesterday.

As reported earlier, the Office of the Special Prosecutor filed charges against Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, Lárus Welding, Magnús Arnar Arngrímsson and Bjarni Jóhannesson.

Jón Ásgeir and Bjarni are facing charges as abettors in the breach of trust case and Lárus and Magnús as main defendants.

The defense attorneys object to the 6,000 pages of evidence submitted by the Special Prosecutor on the grounds that the defendants and their attorneys have not had the opportunity to review the documentation. The case was postponed until next week, mbl.is reports.

Jón Ásgeir’s attorney, Gestur Jónsson, pointed to a similar example from the Supreme Court in July 2012, where the hearings were delayed for several days to allow the defendants and their attorneys to review the documents.

Lárus, who is being investigated in several cases, argues that the trial should therefore be postponed and that the cases should be combined, visir.is reports. A preliminary hearing will be held on the matter on January 16.

The Aurum case concerns a loan of ISK 6 billion (USD 47 million, EUR 36 million) granted by Glitnir Bank, of which Lárus was CEO at the time, to the company FS38 ehf. in mid-2008 to buy shares in the British company Aurum Holding.

Jón Ásgeir said in a statement in December that the charges against him are groundless. At the time he served as chairman and majority owner of investment company FL Group, the largest shareholder in Glitnir before its collapse in autumn 2008.

The other defendants were employees of the bank.

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ZR/ESA