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Icelandic bankers jailed for 2008 crisis allege human rights violations

Bankers jailed in the aftermath of the collapse of three Icelandic banks — Landsbankinn hf., Glitnir hf and Kaupthing Bank — in 2008 are contesting their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights, alleging they were made scapegoats, AFP reported April 1.

Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of the board of Kaupthing Bank, alleges that "some of the judges were partial because they had lost a lot of money during the economic crisis," AFP reported.

Einarsson is contesting the ruling claiming a violation of his rights including illegal phone taps and excessive custody detentions, according to the report.

The European Court sent a series of questions to the Icelandic government in June 2016, after Einarsson contacted it saying that a Supreme Court judge who adjudged his case had his wife on the board of the country's financial regulator; his daughter at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and his son was the chief legal adviser to the winding-up committee of Kaupthing Bank.

However, the Icelandic government rejected the ex-banker’s arguments outright asserting there was "no violation of the applicant's rights."

The European Court of Human Rights has only entertained Einarsson's application out of a total of nine by bankers claiming that their rights have been violated, AFP reported.