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Supreme Court Acquits Prisoners

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Supreme Court Acquits Prisoners

Supreme Court of Iceland

The Supreme Court of Iceland building. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Two men, accused in the death of their fellow prisoner in 2012, were acquitted by the Supreme Court of Iceland today, RÚV reports.

This was a confirmation of the ruling by the South Iceland District Court. Two out of five Supreme Court judges wanted to undo the district court’s ruling. The deputy state prosecutor had demanded that the men receive a 12-year prison sentence.

The two men were charged in June of 2013, after their fellow prisoner, Sigurður Hólm Sigurðsson, was discovered dead in his prison cell on May 17,2012, at Litla-Hraun prison. They were charged for inflicting injury to Sigurður, leading to his death.

The Suðurland District Court acquitted them in March of last year, citing doubts about whether they were responsible for Sigurður’s death, but the decision was appealed by the state prosecutor to the Supreme Court.

The prosecutor maintained the two men inflicted a blow to Sigurður, causing his spleen to rupture and resulting in internal bleeding.

Defense attorneys for the accused maintain that Sigurður died of cardiac arrest, caused by drug abuse, and that his internal bleeding came about due to CPR efforts.

The ruling stated that sufficient doubt existed as to whether the two men had killed the prisoner to make acquitting them unavoidable, although the likelihood is great that they are the only possible perpetrators. The possibility could, however, not be ruled out that others had had a chance to inflict injury to the prisoner, or that the injury had been caused by a fall.

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