Foreign Minister of Iceland Defends Reykjavík 9 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iceland Review   
Thursday, 20 January 2011 18:30

Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson, who was Industry Minister at the time of the protests in December 2008, defended those accused of having attacked the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, in Reykjavík District Court yesterday.


Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Skarphédinsson mentioned an incident from when he was the chairman of the University of Iceland Student Council in 1976 when he led a protest of a larger group of people in the parliament’s gallery without the police intervening. Police officers had attended the protests but no one was arrested, the minister said, according to Fréttabladid.

He recollected another incident at the opening of parliament some time ago which a group of people dressed in military uniforms carrying BB guns attended as a stunt.

“I believe my Westfjordian nerves were under greater strain back then than during the incident now discussed,” Skarphédinsson commented, adding, “We have heard more noise and worse things both from the gallery and the tribune.”

However, MP Einar K. Gudfinnsson, who was Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture at the time of the protests by the Reykjavík 9, said the incident had been a shock to him.

“The parliamentary session ended abruptly and it was of course a highly unusual incident,” Gudfinsson told the court. He clarified that he hadn’t been afraid, but “of course I was taken aback.”

The testimonies of defendants and police officers differ to a significant extent. In court on Tuesday the defendants claimed that the police officers had treated them harshly and been disorganized, Morgunbladid reports.

Some police officers involved seemed to have trouble answering why certain individuals were arrested and who controlled the action. However, others say the police were quick to get the situation under control and arrested those who didn’t follow their demands.

Testimonies ended yesterday and oral pleading began today.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 November 2011 02:30

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