Leak Affair: Minister’s Assistant Charged

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Leak Affair: Minister’s Assistant Charged

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, is facing charges for having leaked information about the asylum seeker Tony Omos to the media last year. Charges against him were issued by the state prosecutor on Friday afternoon.

In response, Hanna Birna relieved Gísli of his duties and requested to have her duties as minister of justice relocated to a different ministry while his case is being handled by the courts, Fréttablaðið reports. However, Hanna Birna does not intend to step down.

On November 20, 2013, the media reported that Omos was suspected of being party to human trafficking based on a memo leaked from the Ministry of the Interior. The previous day, a demonstration had been held outside the ministry, protesting Omos’ deportation. A police investigation into the leak was launched in February.

On Friday Hanna Birna responded to the second letter sent to her by Ombudsman of Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, because of the affair, requesting clearer answers on her alleged interference with the police’s investigation.

Hanna Birna stated that there were no records of two of the four meetings she had with former Chief of Police Stefán Eiríksson after the investigation into the leak was launched. She iterated that none of the four meetings were held to discuss the investigation particularly.

Hanna Birna maintains that given that the two meetings of which there are no records did not concern matters that were being handled by the ministry, she was under no legal obligation to keep records of them.

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