Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

The al Thani Kaupthing case on the horizon

with 6 comments

The case that the Icelandic Office of the Special Prosecutor is bringing against three Kaupthing managers and Olafur Olafsson, at the time Kaupthing’s second largest shareholder, is coming up in the Reykjavik County Court today. It seems that now all legal quibbles the defendants brought up have been dealt with – all of them brushed aside – which means that the case can now take its course. Not quite now though, that will happen in mid April when the main proceedings are due to start. The Kaupthing managers charged are Sigurdur Einarsson, Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson and Magnus Gudmundsson.

This is by far the largest case brought so far by the OSP. There are fifty names on the witness list. One of them is the man who has given the case its name, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Thani. The Sheikh is not accused of any wrongdoing and has not been charged but the OSP would like him to bear witness. It is not known if he will answer the request.

This case has been extensively dealt with on Icelog, i.a. here. The interesting UK angle to the story is that there are striking parallels of this loan story – a Middle Eastern investor being lent money by a bank to invest in that same bank, which then uses that investment as a sign of its rude health – in the Barclay story, also from 2008, now being investigated by the SFO, also covered earlier on Icelog.

Middle Eastern and Russian money is famously finding its way into many London-based investments and investment companies, adding glamour and building cranes to the city. The question is how sparkling clean and healthy all this money is – but as we know from the HSBC money laundering case even major banks are not too squeamish when it comes to the choosing their customers.


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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

March 7th, 2013 at 9:17 am

Posted in Iceland

6 Responses to 'The al Thani Kaupthing case on the horizon'

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  1. The world is watching Iceland, hoping it has the courage and determination to live up to its reputation regarding punishing the Bankers and not letting them get away with what they have done to ordinary hard-working, honest citizens.

    Other countries should hang their heads in shame as they have done nothing at all about the grotesque behaviour of the greedy irresponsable Bankers.

    I believe IF Iceland can trully set an example, they will be widely applauded.

    George Ward

    7 Mar 13 at 5:46 pm

  2. Sigrun will no doubt be aware of this, but just for the record here, it appears Al Thani and his relative Sheik Sultan have refused to bear witness. Also interesting to note that new evidence was submitted to the court, including transcripts of telephone conversations of Kaupthing’s employees in Luxembourg and the settlement agreement of Kaupþing’s winding-up committee with Al-Thani. The principal proceedings are set to begin on April 11:


    10 Mar 13 at 11:10 am

  3. […] banks. Icelog has earlier reported on another large Kaupthing case, the so-called al Thani case (here is a link to earlier Icelogs on that […]

  4. […] are reportedly 50 names on the witness list at Reykjavik county court, including that of Sheikh Mohammed. He is not accused of wrongdoing but it is not known whether he […]

  5. […] are reportedly 50 names on the witness list at Reykjavik county court, including that of Sheikh Mohammed. He is not accused of wrongdoing but it is not known whether he […]

  6. […] link to earlier Icelogs on the al Thani […]

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