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Prosecutor on Al-Thani Case: Clear Message to Bankers

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Prosecutor on Al-Thani Case: Clear Message to Bankers

gavel as used in courts

Photo: sxc.hu.

Special Prosecutor Ólafur Þór Hauksson, who filed the charge against the Kaupþing four, who were convicted in the Al-Thani case on Thursday, believes that the verdict along with other recent convictions in economic violations reduce the likelihood of similar violations being committed in the future.

“There are indications of the banks being more careful. We have sent a clear message on what is a criminal conduct,” Ólafur told Vísir.

He added that even though the case showed that prosecution in economic violations is tricky, conviction can be achieved. Ólafur commented that it’s important that certain individuals didn’t think they were above the law. “Why should part of society exist outside the arm of the law or be free from responsibility?”

In Thursday’s verdict, four former top executives of Kaupþing Bank were sent to prison for fabricating Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar’s acquisition of shares in the bank.

The longest sentence of five-and-a-half years was handed to former CEO Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson—the longest sentence ever given in a conviction of an economic violation in Iceland.

Whether they will end up in maximum security prison Litla-Hraun or at the ‘open prison’ Kvíabryggja is unclear, but they will start serving their sentences in the prison on Skólavörðustígur, in the heart of Reykjavík.

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