Icelandic activist faces court charges

Image: Saving IcelandFounder of environmental activist group Saving Iceland, Olafur Pall Sigurdson, is scheduled to appear in front of the District Court of East Iceland this week, facing charges of property damages. Sigurdson was charged in July 2006 at a protest camp located at Snaefell Mountain.

Sigurdson first filed formal charges against the police. He says that a police vehicle driven by officer Arinbjorn Snorrason accelerated suddenly towards him as he was approaching the vehicle. Sigurdson was hit by the car and seriously injured.

The charges took half a year to process and in the end the State Prosecutor judged that the charge would not progress further. According to Sigurdson, however, the investigation did not take into account the testimony of any of the witnesses present and relied heavily on the statements of the police in the vehicle.

The police filed a counter charge against Sigurdson which will be heard in court almost two years after the incident took place. The police are requesting that compensation be paid for the damage to the vehicle incurred during the incident in addition to punishment for Sigurdson himself.

A spokesperson from Saving Iceland said: “This mix of personal malice and complete lack of respect for the democratic right to protest is typical for the Icelandic police when it comes to SI protestors.”

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