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Holding Company Files Injunction Against Media

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Holding Company Files Injunction Against Media

Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson speaking at the Independence Party general meeting in 2013.

The coverage reveals Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson sold millions of ISK in Glitnir’s Sjóður 9 investment fund just days and hours before the banking collapse. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Glitnir HoldCo. Ltd. has requested an injunction be filed against media outlet Stundin for their reporting based on leaked documents from the bank, Kjarninn reports. The Reykjavík capital area district commissioner has approved the request in part, restricting the media outlet further reporting on the subject until the case is resolved in court.

Glitnir HoldCo. Ltd. handles the remaining assets of Glitnir bank, which went bankrupt during the banking collapse. The company requested the injunction be filed on Friday by the district commissioner of the Reykjavík capital area against Stundin and Reykjavík Media. Glitnir HoldCo. Ltd. claims recent joint reporting by Stundin, The Guardian, and Reykjavík Media based on leaked documents from the bank violates confidentiality agreements and the privacy of its customers.

In the injunction, the company originally requested Stundin relinquish all leaked documents in their possession, write no further articles on the subject, and remove all articles related to the subject from their website. Glitnir’s lawyer, however, withdrew this last request before the injunction was filed. The request that the documents be handed over was denied by the district commissioner.

The coverage in question, published in a series of articles this month, reveals Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson sold millions of ISK in Glitnir’s Sjóður 9 investment fund just days and hours before the banking collapse. The coverage suggests Bjarni had insider information on Glitnir’s worsening financial situation and show Bjarni had a close relationship with executives at Glitnir, pointing to a conflict of interest between his role as an MP at the time and as a client of the bank. Bjarni’s public statements on these and other personal financial dealings, such as the buyout of a large loan transferred to a holding company in his ownership, conflict with the information provided by the documents.

Stundin editor Jón Trausti Reynisson claims the injunction infringes on the freedom of press.

The case will now go to court, where according to Jón Trausti, Glitnir HoldCo. Ltd. will have a week to argue the injunction and file a charge. A ruling will not be made in the case before the October 28th federal election.

An announcement states Glitnir has appointed a British law firm to represent its interests in coverage by The Guardian which is based on the same data. Glitnir has also notified the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland about the infringement.

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