From the book "Dómsmorð" ("Court Murder") - Page 336
New evidence has been presented as has been described in this exposition. This includes written reports from Erla Bolladottir, Albert K. Skaftason, Gisli Gudmundsson, former Chief of Police, Kristrun Jonina Steindorsdottir and her husband Thordur Arnar Marteinsson managers of Althyduhusid and Erla Bolladottir┤s neighbours, Elinborg Rafnsdottir, Hlynur Thor Magnusson prison warden, Rev. Jon Bjarman prison minister, Magnus Leopoldsson real estate agent and Magnus Gislason news reporter. I have also presented the statements of Rev. Gudjon Skarphedinsson to the media in 1996, diaries of the Sidumuli prison and an understatement thereof as well as diaries from Hegningarhus prison, information regarding the employment of Karl Schutz, Karl Schutz┤s final statement, new information about the weather in Hafnarfjordur and surrounding area at the end of January 1974 and various other material, which is counted in the attached file list.
In the presented documents new information is to be found regarding merits on one hand and handling of the case on the other. Evidence regarding the three indictments which are now requested to be reopened must be examined in the light of new information about their merits. This is to say that the more doubt there is that evidence such as confessions has been rightly assessed, the more it matters with how much integrity and legal accuracy the investigation of the case was carried out both inside and outside of the court, as well as the treatment of the suspects themselves, for example regarding the obtaining their confessions. The more information about injustice during the resolving of a case and the handling of it, illegal methods to bring suspects to confess and negligence in guarding corrects methods in the handling or solving a case, the more demand must be made in order for the evidence not to be reasonably questioned, especially confessions.
The merits which the court's judgement is based on in the segment of the verdict which is requested to be reopened finds it's only support in the alleged confessions of suspects. These confessions were withdrawn during the trial of the case and it has been made evident that my client has always insisted on his innocence whenever he would be heard. No witness ever saw Gudmundur Einarsson near Hamarsbraut 11 nor did anyone witness suspects in the Gudmundur case ever attack Gumdundur resulting in his death. Nobody witnessed Geirfinnur Einarsson step into a vehicle which suspects were in and drive with them to the Drattarbraut. Nobody witnessed a fight in the Drattarbraut on the night in question and much less did anyone see suspects attack Geirfinnur resulting in his death. No witness has ever seen suspects transporting the body of neither Gudmundur nor Geirfinnur, neither in a vehicle nor else where. There is no witness to suspects conspiring to a perjury against the so-called "foursome".
In the Gudmundur case the main support to the verdict was that two young women had seen Gudmundur with Kristjan Vidar outside Althyduhusid in Hafnarfjordur. I have put forth a statement from one of these witnesses, Elinborg Rafnsdottir, stating that the witness did not see Gudmundur with Kristjan, who is a. 190 cm tall, but with a man who was app. 170 cm tall. That man could not have been Kristjan. The witness has described how she was steered to report that the man had been Kristjan. Gisli Gudmundsson has explained that the validity of the identification was limited. I am aware that the witness who was with Elinborg Rafnsdottir on the night in question also knows that it could not have been Kristjan Vidar who she saw with Gudmundur Einarsson on the night in question because of the size difference. She will testify to this in court. I have also presented the statement of Kristrun Jona Steindorsdottir which says that she had seen Gudmundur Einarsson very drunk just before the closing with a man who could just have been the man who the two other witnesses saw with Gudmundur outside the dance hall. Kristun says that the man who wasd with Gudmundur was shorter than him. As it is now proved that Gudmundur was not with Kristjan outside the dance hall there is nothing further in the case which links Gudmundur to suspects and Hamarsbraut 11. Albert Skaftason can not testify that he had been at Hamarsbraut 11 that night. Gunnar Jonsson stated to the court that he had seen a picture of Gudmundur after his desappearance but he had not recognized him. By this Gunnar was saying that he knew nothing about the matter, whatever would be recorded from him. The same thing came out in his talks with a policeman after his reports in court. Erla Bolladottir has in a convincing way described the night in question and that she was alone at Hamarsbraut that night. She has now also explained why she went to the trash can in the morning, but her story of this in former reports did not add up. New evidence has been presented regarding snow and road conditions and in the light of these it is proven that it was impossible for Albert Skaftason to drive a 17 year old Volkswagen through the country roads in Reykjaneshraun as this type of car and most other cars could not have made this. This is important because the verdicts are based on this story as support to alleged confessions. In the suspects' reports the snow and bad conditions in Hafnarfjordur and in the lave that night are never mentioned, but they could never have reported on this unless they had indeed been out in the lava that night. An attempt was made to get Albert to testify to another trip out to the lave much later in the year in the Toyota with a body from Hamarsbraut 11. As no one who was linked to the suspects in any way was living or had access to Hamarsbraut 11 at that time that story is proven to be an absolute fabrication, but Karl Schutz emphasixed this story greatly, whatever drove him to do so. I have also presented new information from the couple who managed Althyduhusid and lived meters from Hamarsbraut 11, where they say that they would have noticed in the night if the events and traffic had taken place, which the verdict is based on.
The Geirfinnur case was mainly based on alleged confessions by Gudjon Skarphedinsson and the testimony of Erla Bolladottir. Gudjon has now told in an interview with Morgunbladid dated 13th of February 1996, that the prosecution had fabricated the story about the events which later were judged. Words had been put in peoples' mouths. Suspect had become incomprehensive after eight hour interviews a day, day after day. The suspect can not sleep and receives mind altering psychiatric medication. He becomes incomprehensive after a few days at which point what he says becomes absolutely unreliable. He says that he had asked for something to help him sleep and received psychiatric medication. This had been an absolute miracle working medicine and had effected him intensely.
Erla Bolladottir has in a new statement explained how policemen and the chief of investigation had persuaded her to discuss a party which she had attended in her teenage years at the home of her girlfriend, who was half sister to Valdimar Olsen. Many stories had been told ther, amongst others unrelated stories of Klubbur people and Einar Bollason. Thereby the police now considered themselves to have found a link between my client and Klubburinn, but the theory was being entertained amongst authorities that the Klubbur people were linked to the disappearance of Geirfinnur og Magnus Leopoldsson had long before been called before the police for this reason. The link was that my client had lived with Erla. She had told of a party where there was talk about Einar on one hand and the Klubbur people on the other. This is where the police felt that a connection had been established. Erla was half sister to Einar and his name was mentioned in the same place as the names of Klubbur people, Magnus and Sigurbjorn. Thereby according to police opinion, sufficient connection had been found between my client and the Klubbur. It was not considered to make a difference that Einar did not know the Klubbur people and they didn┤t know him. This testimony sparked the police, who had long suspected the Klubbur people, to act and they then arrested them, along with Einar and Valdimar, although they were not connected to the Klubbur at all. I must be greatly emphasized that it has been proven in the case that it was the police who suspected the Klubbur people in connection with the disappearance of Geirinnur long before Erla was asked if my client had mentioned the Klubbur people.
Erla Bolladottir has then explained the contents of her story about the trip to Reykjavik on the morning of the day after the disappearance of Geirfinnur. She had a long time before known a boy on the south coast and visited him. She used her story from that time to tell the investigating policemen, but they demanding from her a story that would coincide with investigative theories. There was no success in proving that Erla made this trip on the morning in question and I have I have been able to establish that one of the key witnesses for the prosecution, Gudmundur S. Jonsson, originally told an entirely different story from one that he told later and the later one agreed better with the theory of the investigating police. It is likely that the witness had read about Erla┤s testimony in the newspapers, but investigating police hosted press conferences and told about interrogations, or that such testimonies leaked from the investigating policemen. They could not have come from suspects or defense attorneys, as these individuals knew nothing about others' testimonies.
The conclusion that suspects had falsely accused "the foursome" and that they had been held in custody for 90-105 days due to the testimonies of my client does not hold up. In the case documents it would appear that the police had asked suspects about the presence of many other than "the foursome" in the Drattarbraut and suspects had commonly agreed to the names that they were asked about. They were shown pictures of 20 men. This is the same method as was used with Albert K. Skaftason when he was asked about cemeteries where a body had been buried and he had said yes to all the cemeteries that were mentioned.
There must be a reminder here of the necessity of measuring the likelihood of the merits before sentences are passed. In the Gudmundur case the motive was considered to be to obtain money from Gudmundur to pay a portion of the price of a liquor bottle. Suspects were first and foremost using drugs other than alcohol. According to evidence from narcotic police investigation all of those who were to have been at Hamarsbraut 11 were carrying plenty of money in the days before and had neither a reason to steal wallets or beat up people to afford a bottle of booze. The investigators were not keen on presenting the evidence regarding this possession of money until after the indictment when Gisli Gudmundsson obtained this information from the hand of the chief of the investigation and only then was it presented. However the prosectuion does not appear to have changes it's theory about motive in spite of it's foundation being wiped out.
According to the verdict in the case it is believed that Geirfinnur Einarsson, 32 year old payloader operator from the south coast had been having a good time in the Klubburinn when either my client or Kristjan Vidar came up to him and introduced himseslf as the Managing Director of the Klubburinn, Magnus Leopoldsson. My client and Kristjan Vidar were 19 years old and from their looks it was very obvious that they were not Managing Directors of a large firm or of a small firm for that matter. They are described in the case files and pictures are also available of them. It is impossible that Geirfinnur would have believed such stories. Geirfinnur's friend, who just about never had his eyes off him during their stay only saw him once talking to a man and this could not have been either of the suspects. It is therefore in no way proved that any connection had been between the suspects and Geirfinnur. As already has been detailed it is as good as proved that neither my client nor Kristjan came to Hafnarbudin or elsewhere to phone Geirfinnur around the time when it is believed that he received a phonecall. The lower court becomes aware of this and bypasses the problem, so there is nowhere an explanation to be found regardin gwho phoned Geirfinnur, but it is evident that it was not the suspects. In the Supreme Court's verdict however, another route is chosen by saying that it must be considered as if, although unproved, that Kristjan or my client had phoned Geirfinnur from Hafnarbudin. The Supreme Court was aware that the chain of events had to add up in order to sentence my client. It does however not add up as witnesses testify that the suspects did not come into Hafnarbudin on the night in question. The Supreme Court does however not take a stand on why the widely known clay bust of the man who made the phone call was deliberately made to look like Magnus Leopoldsson.
According to the above it has been shown that the conditions for oml. 184. Gr. 1. Mgr.a regarding reopening are met without anything further, as it can be assumed that the new evidence would have made a significant difference to the conflusion of the case, if they had appeared before the judges before the ruling.
It has also been shown that all the main foundational rules regarding assurance of justice, whether it is in a national court or an international bill of human rights, have been broken in every stage of the case and by all parties involved. Mention has been made of strong forces in the society which had demanded that this case would be finished because of the inconvenience that the leading up to it had caused, but "the leading up to" refers to the Klubbur case and the alcohol case, which ultimately resulted in an attack on the Secretary of Justice in Parliament. In the wake of this a German policeman was employed, who was known especially for his battle against terrorists. His view was that the Gudmundur case was completely resolved and that his task was to prepare prosecution which aimed at proving the suspicions that already had been cast on those who later were found guilty by the court. He bypassed all other suspicions and motives, of which there was an abundance. In his final report it is evident that he is far from certain and that he is aware that there are many weak links in the chain. Interrogations were ongoing for days on end without reports being done and of course without any consideration of the law about interrogation. The attitude of the investigating officers regarding the presence of defense attorneys during questioning can only be explained by their fear of a different outcome because of their independent questions, whereby a court ruling could be effected. The Supreme Court's mistake has been pointed out, regarding the interpretation of the abuse which my client suffered on the 5th of May 1976 and the Supreme Court didn't think it mattered as he had already confessed a crime in the Gudmundur case, but the questioning that day was purposely to get him to confess a crime in the Geirfinnur case. It has been proved that authorities produced a wrong extraction from the prison diary. This error served to hide the treatment that my client had suffered in the prison which had no purpose other than to force my client to confess. The Supreme Court was not aware of these incidents when the ruling was made and there is reason to assume that the verdict had been different had the information been on the table. The Supreme Court was also unaware of the intention to deceive it with the extract and thus influence the verdict in the prosecution's favor, but at my client's expense. The courts are meant to prevent the prosecution from influencing the verdict by producing wrong public documents. It is beyond the shadow of a doubt that here a punishable act is committed. RLR had investigated the books and the lower court seemed to control the prison along with the policemen and the prosecution. Everyone knew or should have known about them. Further regarding this act and the meaning and interpretation thereof is found in the last chapter.
It has been proved that the confessions which the verdict is based on are obtained by illegal methods and by punishable actions. The conditions according to oml. 184.gr.1.mgr.b. are therefore met, where the only demand made is that it can be assumed that the events which therein are described have happened and lead to a wrong conclusion. It is repeated here that as the conclusion of the case is based on confessions only, which convicts have withdrawn, sometimes immediately and sometimes later and described individually that they had been obtained by force, then the court must show that the alleged confessions which at some time were believed to have been given, had been given by legal methods. It has now been proved without a doubt that they were illegally obtained and legal procedures were not followed during questioning of both convicts and witnesses. Allowance of the presence of defense attorneys during interrogation was exceptional throughout the investigative stage and they were not allowed to be present at the testifying of witnesses or interrogations of the other convicts. My client was not even allowed to be present at the closed trail with the exception of being allowed to hear the verbal proceedings of the case in the lower and Supreme Court.
The investigating parties seriously neglected their legal duty of regularly and clearly booking whatever took place during interrogations of suspects and witnesses. As a main rule nothing was booked other than whatever would support the investigative theories at any given time. This complicates matters considerably for my client in this appeal for a reopening, in showing how the testimony of suspects and witnesses form abnormally by the methods that were used during the investigation. Evidence was also hidden from suspects and court and many of them have yet to be found. All the uncertainty about this should therefore, due to this unlawful negligence, be interpreted in my client's favor in the evaluation of the request for the reopening.
It is respectfully stated here that it has been shown that it can be assumed that the Supreme Court case no. 214/1978 would have been otherwise concluded if the new evidence had been available at the original trial of the case and if legal procedures had been followed during it's investigation and handling and therefore it should now the reopened according to oml.184.gr.1.mgr.a and b.
Reykjavík 20th of February 1997