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Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK215, ICELAND: ACQUITTAL IN FIRST TIP COURT CASE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09REYKJAVIK215 2009-12-04 15:03 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO8001
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHRK #0215 3381545
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041545Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4231
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000215 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KTIP PGOV PHUM PREL IC
 
SUBJECT:  ICELAND: ACQUITTAL IN FIRST TIP COURT CASE 
 
1. (U) In October, prosecutors indicted Catalina Ncogo, an Icelandic 
citizen of Equatorial Guinean origin, on charges of human 
trafficking, profiting from prostitution as a third party, and drug 
smuggling.  The trafficking indictment was the first charge of such 
a nature in Iceland.  On December 1 the Reykjanes District Court 
acquitted Ncogo of the human trafficking charge, but convicted her 
on the charges of profiting from prostitution and drug smuggling. 
 
2. (U) Ncogo was accused of deceiving another woman, a compatriot 
from Equatorial Guinea, into coming to Iceland for a vacation and 
then holding her captive for a number of months.  The woman was 
allegedly coerced into prostitution and threatened with physical 
violence and even death if she protested.  The district court ruled 
against the trafficking indictment citing insufficient evidence to 
prove that Ncogo had threatened the woman and kept her enslaved. 
There are plans, currently on the legislative docket, to amend the 
existing TIP legislation to lower the burden of proof needed to 
obtain a trafficking conviction.  Post's contacts said that if these 
amendments were in place already, Ncogo probably would have been 
convicted on the TIP charges. 
 
3. (U) The court did convict Ncogo of profiting from prostitution 
and drug smuggling.  The court stated it was clear that Ncogo's 
prostitution operation had been extensive and that she had profited 
from pimping out not only the woman from Equatorial Guinea but 
several "other anonymous women" as well. Ncogo's lawyer said that he 
intends to appeal this decision and take the matter before the 
Icelandic Supreme Court.  The District Court also convicted an 
accomplice of Ncogo, an Icelandic man, who assisted her in her 
operations by, for example, taking photographs of the prostitutes 
for an advertisement website. 
 
4. (U) Sigdrudur Gudmundsdottir, Director of the women's counseling 
center Stigamot, told Emboff that she was pleased an indictment on 
trafficking had taken place.  She was also pleased that a conviction 
had occurred, even if it was not on the charge of human trafficking. 
 Gudmundsdottir commented that Iceland has made considerable 
progress in its anti-trafficking efforts recently, notably the 
adoption in March of an Icelandic national action plan against 
trafficking in human beings. 
WATSON