October 9th, 2016
By Nadia Prupis
Since its 2008-2011 financial crisis, Iceland has received global recognition for its strategy of prosecuting executives, letting banks go bust, and focusing on social welfare. Now Iceland, which became a gold standard for corporate accountability in the wake of the crisis, has found nine bankers guilty for market manipulation in one of the biggest cases of its kind in the country’s history.
The verdict from Iceland’s Supreme Court, issued Thursday October 6th, overturns a June 2015 decision by the Reykjavik District Court, which found seven of the nine defendants guilty but acquitted two. Sentencing has yet to be handed down yet.
All nine defendants worked at the major international firm Kaupthing Bank until it was taken over by the Icelandic government during the crash. The bank’s former director Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, who was sentenced to five and a half years in 2013 in a separate Kaupthing case, had his punishment extended by six months in response to the verdict. Acquittals were overturned for former Kaupthing credit representative Björk Þórarinsdóttir and former Kaupthing Luxembourg CEO Magnús Guðmundsson.
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