Danish newspaper apologises to bank

Anglo-Icelandic bank accepts libel damages for internet publications

Kaupthing Bank, its Executive Chairman, Sigurdur Einarsson, and two subsidaries have settled their libel action against the Danish newspaper, Ekstra Bladet. The companies and Mr Einarsson brought proceedings over a series of articles in English and Danish published in October and November 2006 and read online by readers in England and Wales.


The Claimants’ main contention was that the articles alleged the creation of a secret scheme by which they and their clients cheated the tax authorities by fiddling their tax, evading their legal obligations and making it difficult for regulatory authorities to trace the ownership of funds, in circumstances that posed a risk that such a scheme would be used for money laundering.


The case settled shortly before the Court was due to hear a Jameel v Dow Jones application to dismiss the claim.


In the statement read in the High Court today the newspaper accepted that Kaupthing and Mr Einarsson were not involved in any form of unlawful activity designed to fiddle tax or evade their legal obligations to pay tax and had acted properly and in accordance with the law at all times. It apologised to Kaupthing and Mr Einarsson if the readers had gained a contrary impression from the articles and agreed to pay substantial damages and costs and to publish an apology online.


5RB’s Richard Parkes QC and Adam Speker (instructed by Schillings) acted for Kaupthing; Desmond Browne QC and Matthew Nicklin (instructed by Carter Ruck) acted for Ekstra Bladet.