The main proceedings of the case against Thomas Møller Olsen, charged with the murder of Birna Brjánsdóttir, began today in the district court of Reykjanes, South Iceland, RÚV reports.
Birna disappeared in the early morning of January 14th this year. Her body was found just over a week later on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Southwest Iceland. The case has greatly touched the nation of Iceland.
There are 37 witnesses who will testify in the case, many of whom will come before the court today and tomorrow. Five of the witnesses will be heard on September 1st, including Grímur Grímsson, who led the investigation of the case, and German medical examiner Sebastian Kunz, who performed the autopsy on Birna’s body.
The proceedings were originally scheduled to take place in mid-July, but had to be postponed due to a delay in the delivery of an assessment report from another German medical examiner, prepared at the request of Møller Olsen's defense lawyer. The report has since been delivered in Iceland and an Icelandic translation of it has been completed.
The proceedings began with questioning of the accused. Questioning of his shipmates on the Polar Nanoq, who spent two weeks in detention and isolation during the investigation, will follow. Møller Olsen’s girlfriend will also testify via telephone. The proceedings will take place in five languages: Icelandic, English, Danish, German, and Greenlandic.
National broadcaster RÚV is reporting on the proceedings live.
UPDATE: This report has been corrected. An earlier version incorrectly stated that the proceedings had been postponed due to a delay in the delivery of Dr. Kunz' report. He is not the author of that report. Iceland Review apologizes for the error.