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Leak Affair: People Named in Memo Sue for Damages

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Leak Affair: People Named in Memo Sue for Damages

gavel as used in courts

Photo: sxc.hu.

Three individuals were named in the memo leaked by Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, former assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, including sensitive and confidential information about the affairs of an asylum seeker who was being deported.

Gísli, who confessed on Tuesday to having leaked the memo in November 2013, also admitted that he had made an addition to the original memo and made insinuations about the private affairs of the three individuals whose names were included in the memo, ruv.is reports.

The three individuals are now suing Gísli for damages. He has expressed his regret for compromising their reputations and placing them in the spotlight of the media but no reaction has been received from the Ministry of the Interior. No formal apology has been issued.

“The ministry is responsible for the leak … He is an employee and these are the rules, if an employee is responsible, regardless whether the person’s name is Gísli Freyr, Hanna Birna or something else, some kind of formal apology must be issued from the ministry,” commented Helga Vala Helgadóttir, the lawyer of a woman whose name was mentioned in the memo.

“When the media started contacting her following the leak, she immediately contacted the ministry and requested to see the memo in question and read what it said about her. The ministry’s information officer responded straight away, saying that the enquiry had been passed along and that she would receive an answer immediately. She reaffirmed her enquiry shortly afterwards but is still waiting for an answer, one year later,” Helga stated.

Helga explained that by law, the woman is entitled to know what information about her the memo includes.

Gísli Freyr was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence on Wednesday. Hanna Birna maintains that she had nothing to do with the leak. The coalition parties support her, while the opposition is calling for her to step down. The conclusion of the investigation of Alþingi Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson into the minister’s handling of the leak is awaited.

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