Iceland’s Most Famous & Contradictory Disappearance Case Back In High Court

The six people convicted in the case: Sæv­ar Ciesi­elski, Erla Bolla­dótt­ir and Kristján Viðar Viðars­son. Lower row from left to right: Tryggvi Leifs­son, Al­bert Kla­hn Skafta­son and Guðjón Skarp­héðins­son

The suspected ring-leader and one of the convicted, Sæv­ar Marinó Ciesi­elski  tried twice to have the case reopened, but without success. He passed away in 2011, but his children have kept on fighting, and that same year a committee appointed by Ögmundur Jónasson, the then Minister of Justice, set about to go over the case to see if there was a basis to reopen it. The Interior Ministry’s Rehearing Committee has covered the case for three years, and the conclusion is that this most famous of Icelandic criminal cases will be reopened for 5 of the 6 convicted in 1980.

The committee’s verdict was that there were reasons for reopening the case, as the original investigation was not thorough enough, and also, that there was the possibility of a bias in that the police seemed to have decided the six people convicted were guilty from the beginning. Add hereto the treatment of the suspects, described as inhumane and cruel which resulted in confessions that were not credible, some of which may have been based on false memories and police coercion.




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