Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

The Exeter case: two bankers sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison

with 7 comments

Reykjavik District Court acquittals last autumn in the Exeter case were a major blow to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Thursday June 7 the High Court came to a radically different conclusion. Jon Thorsteinn Jonsson, ex-chairman of the board of Byr, a saving society and Byr’s CEO Ragnar Gudjonsson were sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison, guilty of breach of fiduciary duty. The case of the third banker, CEO of MP Bank Styrmir Thor Bragason, was sent back to the District Court. Following this ruling, Byr must be considering if to sue these men for damages.

This ruling will have a major impact on other cases to come – it’s clear that there are other cases of breach of fiduciary duty in the Icelandic financial system before the collapse of the three major banks in autumn of 2008. This also means that the law related to this issue is robust enough for the court to rule on. And it means that there will be other bankers who now will be contemplating on earlier deeds and possible ramification.

It also shows the Icelandic authorities are serious about bringing cases related to the banks to court. And the latest ruling is a severe blow to the District Court. Interestingly, the District Court judge who acquitted the three bankers is the same who acquitted Jon Asgeir Johannesson and others in the Baugur case in 2005.

What was the Exeter case about? Read about it here, on the Exeter case as Icelandic banking in a nutshell, about bankers who abused their position to save themselves and their friends from losses  – and here, on the earlier ruling. And here is the High Court ruling, in Icelandic only.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

June 8th, 2012 at 1:39 am

Posted in Iceland

7 Responses to 'The Exeter case: two bankers sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison'

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  1. Once again we have to salute Iceland for at least having a Judge who believes Justice is for all and not that Bankers should be let off the hook as they have protected and favored those in power.
    The Judiciary of countries who have the sort of Judges like the District Court one who acquitted the guilty,wreckless bankers should also be held to account.
    It is becoming increasingly clear that there are Judges who are being persuaded to protect the bankers and often this is for political reasons and to protect a corrupt group of people who have strings to pull.
    The banking havens such as Luxembourg should start looking at the example Iceland is showing as it cleans up its banking system and judiciary who have been protecting them and so destroying the financial stability across the world.
    Iceland is an inspiration.

    George Ward

    8 Jun 12 at 7:42 am

  2. I’m glad Isberg has finally received the smacking he’s so richly deserved for so long. As I commented in the post you link to, his decision in District Court effectively read fraud out of Icelandic law.

    Knute Rife

    11 Jun 12 at 8:19 pm

  3. […] type of lending are being pursued by the Office of the Special Prosecutor in Iceland (now with one case ended and two bankers sent to prison for 4 1/2) years. Not only Kaupthing but also Landsbanki […]

  4. […] managers seem sitting ducks for a criminal case of breach of fiduciary duties, comparable to the Byr case. But so far, the Government isn’t asking any questions and yet it is putting ISK25bn, […]

  5. […] bankers were sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for breach of fiduciary duty in the so-called Byr case seems to have shaken others in a similar situation. In an interview with Ruv tonight, the head […]

  6. […] at Kvíabryggja, Jón Þorsteinn Jónsson and Ragnar Z Guðjónsson, sentenced in the so-called Byr or Exeter case. Apart from playing golf – Kvíabryggja has a golf course, built by the prisoners; […]

  7. […] remains to be seen what the outcome will be but in the Exeter case, another financial fraud bank-related case, the Reykjavík District Court acquitted but the Supreme […]

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