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Qatari Elite Linked to Icelandic Market Manipulation, Part 3: Court Convictions


Posted: October 20th, 2017


DE-Tenants.org is researching the business transactions and holdings of the Qatar Investment Authority and Qatari elites – particularly the country’s ruling Al-Thani family. Previously (Part 1 & Part 2), we detailed how investments made by a Qatari royal Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani into Icelandic bank Kaupthing were actually financed by proceeds of a loan made by Kaupthing to Al-Thani. The loan and reinvestment prompted an investigation by Icelandic authorities into Kaupthing bankers (but not Al-Thani). Bankers were ultimately indicted.

Convicted Kaupthing bankers

Today’s post details the convictions.


First conviction: Reykjavík District Court

On 12 December 2013 in case no. S127-2012, Reykjavík District Court sentenced Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, Kaupthing's former CEO, to five and a half years in prison while former Chairman Sigurdur Einarsson received a five-year sentence.

Magnus Gudmundsson, former CEO of Kaupthing Luxembourg, was given a three-year sentence and Olafur Olafsson, the bank's second largest shareholder at the time, received three and a half years. The December 2013 District Court convictions pertained to breach of trust and market abuse. (SOURCE) In what is by far the largest case brought by Iceland’s special prosecutor against former employees of Iceland’s failed banks, it was argued that the market had been deceived by information indicating that financing was coming directly from Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s own funds. (SOURCE)


Second conviction: Iceland Supreme Court

On 12 February 2015 in case no. 145-2014, in response to an appeal against the Reykjavík District Court’s convictions, Iceland’s Supreme Court largely upheld—and some of their sentences expanded—the initial sentencing.

The court upheld the Reykjavík District Court’s five-and-a-half-year sentence for former Kaupthing CEO Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson while reducing the sentence for former Kaupthing Chairman Sigurdur Einarsson from five years to four.

Kaupthing's Luxembourg CEO Magnus Gudmundsson saw his sentence increased from three to four and a half years, while major investor Olafur Olafsson saw his three-and-a-half-year sentence increase by one year.




Our next post in this series looks at how the Panama Papers database offers insight into the Kaupthing bank affair.