First of all, I want to say thank you for all the kind words of support in the comments to the last few posts, and to those of you who emailed me. They really mean a lot, and you are right: letting the bastards win is not an option.
Indeed, that seems to be the Special Motto of the Special Prosecutor’s Office these days.
After months of apparent inactivity, it is suddenly as though someone has poked the SP up the backside, and he’s kicked into gear. Although I have no doubt that his evident dormant state was anything but, and these latest developments are the result of months of hard work.
As most of you will know a number of arrests have been made already. It started with Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former CEO of Kaupthing, then Magnús Guðmundsson, former CEO of Kaupthing Luxembourg and CEO of Banque Havilland, which was basically Kaupthing Luxembourg with a new sign out front. [Almost immediately after his arrest, Magnús was removed from his post.] Both of them were remanded in custody, and both appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which confirmed the decision of the district court.
Two more former Kaupthing execs were arrested last night [or was it two nights ago – there’s such a flurry of activity now that it’s hard to keep track] when they arrived at Keflavík airport. All of the above live abroad and came to Iceland for questioning by the Special Prosecutor.
There is a very long list of grievances against them, most of which involve market manipulation and other fraud. One of the most brazen in my opinion is this: just before the bank collapsed, the Icelandic Central Bank awarded it an emergency loan of EUR 500 million. This presumably in a last-ditch attempt to save the last remaining Icelandic bank from collapse [the other two had gone down days earlier]. At the time, Kaupthing was believed to be the only bank that MIGHT be able to withstand the crisis, as it had a substantial amount of own equity [of course we have no idea now whether those figures were cooked up or whether they were actually real]. The full amount of that loan, PLUS a few hundred million ISK more, was transferred to offshore companies associated with the top brass in the bank.
They stole the whole f*cking loan!!
The real suspense now is whether Icelandic authorities will be successful in apprehending old Sigurður Einarsson, who was CEO along with Hreiðar Már. Many of you will have seen that he was listed as wanted by Interpol yesterday after the Special Prosecutor issued an arrest warrant – this came in the wake of Sigurður’s refusal to come to Iceland for questioning voluntarily [gee, wonder why]. The latest, however, is that even if UK authorities do arrest him, he can’t be extradited because Icelandic authorities have not ratified some EEA agreement that calls for international collaboration in such cases.
Actually, there’s also been some speculation as to just WHY the Special Prosecutor called for an Interpol arrest warrant. Normally it’s only done when an individual cannot be located, but in this case old Sigurður is apparently just chillin’ at home in his Chelsea town house.
Not that it matters, since they can’t get at him.
I’ve also got a few things to say about old Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, who is also in deep doo-doo, but not now, must dash …………..