Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

C’est la vie

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In Iceland, playful kids throw snowballs at each other in winter. Not so playful businessmen, down on their last million, throw threats of personally suing those who on behalf of the collapsed banks are clawing back the billions of Icelandic Kronur of debt. In an interview, published in the Icelandic Vidskiptabladid today, Jon Asgeir Johannesson claims he will personally sue Steinunn Gudbjartsdottir the chairman of the Glitnir Winding-Up Board for her ‘sworn lies’ submitted in connection with the freezing order, confirmed last Friday.

According to Johannesson Gudbjartsdottir alleges that his assets are more exstensive than the £1.1m. In an email sent to Glitnir CEO Larus Welding and Stodir (earlier FL Group) Jon Sigurdsson just before the collapse of the banks in Oct. 2008 Johannesson lists accounts holding £202m. The email hasn’t been published so it’s unclear why Johannesson was listing these assets to the two CEOs.

During the freezing order hearings Glitnir’s lawyer pointed out that, contrary to what Johannesson now claims, Gudbjartsdottir didn’t know who owned these £202m. She didn’t know May 11 when the freezing order was submitted – and she didn’t know late June when asked again. In the meantime Johannesson had given a statement, saying that the money belonged to the supermarket chain Iceland where he was a director until he resigned in May due to the freezing order.

Now, Iceland’s CEO Malcolm Walker, who Johannesson and his co-investor in Iceland chose as a CEO, has written a letter to Gudbjartsdottir, saying that the millions belonged to Iceland the supermarket chain. If Johannesson thought it important to clarify who owned the £202m it’s rather mystifying why he didn’t ask Walker to document this while the freezing order was still being dealt with by the court. Why did he wait until after the Court had already confirmed the freezing order?

Gudbjartsdottir is hardly quaking in her boots over Johannesson’s threat – and by the way, he hasn’t mentioned if he will sue her in Iceland or abroad. From other resolution committees and winding-up boards I know that the big debtors regularly threat to sue their members personally. For those who deal with the big debtors who are used to being able to rule with money and the threat of making use of their money it’s all part of their job – for them c’est la vie.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

July 15th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Iceland

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