Supreme Court rejects plea to reopen touchy murder case:

The Icelandic Supreme Court yesterday refused to reopen a controversial double-murder case which has plagued the country's legal establishment for twenty years.

Announcing a unanimous decision, the seven-judge Court said there was insufficient evidence to reexamine the case in which six people were convicted of taking part in the 1974 murders of Gudmundur Einarsson and Geirfinnur Einarsson. Both men mysteriously disappeared without a trace, and their bodies were never found.

The request to reopen the case came from Sævar Ciesielski, who in December 1977 was found guilty of involvement in murdering the two men and was sentenced to life imprisonment. A 1980 Supreme Court appeal upheld the conviction but reduced Ciesielski's sentence to 17 years. Ciesielski, who served more than 8 years before being granted an early release, has consistently maintained his innocence. He has also made allegations that he was mistreated while held in solitary confinement for 2 years prior to his trial.

"I was repeatedly tortured, shackled in irons for months at a time, was deprived of sleep, and generally mistreated," Ciesielski told DNFI this morning.

The Supreme Court acknowledged yesterday that Ciesielski received unnecessarily harsh and illegal treatment while in custody. The Court added however that this was the only, but insufficient, reason for a possible reexamination of the case.