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Former Interior Minister Denies Influencing Investigation

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Former Interior Minister Denies Influencing Investigation

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir on her way to an interview on Stöð 2.

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Former Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has denied having tried to influence the police investigation of the leak of a confidential document to the media in November 2013.

In a report published on Friday Ombudsman of Alþingi Tryggvi Gunnarsson concluded that Hanna Birna’s communication with former Chief of Police in Reykjavík Stefán Eiríksson during the investigation of her ministry had not been in accordance with rules that ministers must abide by in order to ensure an independent and objective police.

As reported on Friday, the ombudsman concluded that Hanna Birna had made suggestions and criticized the investigation, thereby overstepping the boundaries of her position.

In a letter to the ombudsman, published on Friday, Hanna Birna acknowledged that it was a mistake to have contact with Stefán during the investigation. RÚV interpreted Hanna Birna’s words to mean that she had acknowledged having tried to influence the investigation.

However, on Saturday she told RÚV that she had never tried to influence the investigation and has never said otherwise.

Hanna Birna requested to be released from her duties as minister in late November. She is however expected to return to parliament soon. Stefán stepped down as Chief of Police last summer.

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