Alþingi Ombudsman Asks Minister for Information

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Alþingi Ombudsman Asks Minister for Information

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Tryggvi Gunnarsson, ombudsman for Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, sent a letter to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir yesterday to request all available information about her communication with former Chief of Police in Reykjavík Stefán Eiríksson regarding the police’s investigation of a leak of confidential information about an asylum seeker from her ministry.

The letter states that Tryggvi decided to approach Hanna after discussing the matter with Stefán and State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir following a story published in DV newspaper on Tuesday, which maintained that Hanna had tried to influence the police’s investigation of the leak, ruv.is reports.

Furthermore, DV reported that Stefán had decided to resign from his position because of Hanna’s repeated interference with the police’s investigation of the affair and that she had for that purpose called him to a meeting in the ministry.

Both Hanna and Stefán have denied the story as reported in DV. Hanna said in a statement that she and everyone working at her ministry had cooperated fully with the police and that she had neither tried to influence the investigation nor pressured Stefán into resigning.

Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson, who chairs the Independence Party, of which Hanna is vice-chair, would not comment on the issue.

Hanna has until August 15 to respond to Tryggvi’s letter.

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