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Leak Affair: No Consequences for Police Chief

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Leak Affair: No Consequences for Police Chief

Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal.

Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal stated yesterday that there will be no consequences for Chief of Reykjavík Metropolitan Police Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir for sending sensitive and personal information about asylum seeker Tony Omos and others to Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, assistant to former Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, while serving as chief of the Suðurnes Police. Gísli later leaked the information to the media.

Ólöf also stated—when asked about the affair at Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament yesterday—that Sigríður will not be reprimanded by the ministry, which is an administrational resource used when an official has violated work-related regulations, Fréttablaðið reports.

Ólöf declared confidence in Sigríður. "I believe that she handed the information over in good faith, thinking that it was being requested for a reason.”

The Data Protection Authority concluded last week that the information had been handed over without the proper authorization, that the sending of the information had not been registered properly and that the act had been in violation of data safety regulations.

Ólöf opined that the Data Protection Authority’s report gives the administration as a whole a reason to review the procedure of sending confidential information.

"Generally, the higher power has the authority to call for information but here it is stated that there has to be some framework around it. Not that the handing over of such information should be prohibited but that the framework must be in order,” the minister explained.

"When it’s a question of sensitive personal information, it should remain confidential unless it’s important to a certain case. Then it has to be registered properly in a court calendar. This must be reviewed,” Ólöf elaborated.

Omos has appealed his case against the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration and the Icelandic state to the Supreme Court.

Gísli confessed in November 2014, one year later, to having leaked information about Omos to the media. Hanna Birna stepped down as minister of the interior later that month.

Ombudsman of Alþingi Tryggvi Gunnarsson concluded in January that Hanna Birna’s interference with the police’s investigation of the leak had been out of line. Hanna Birna is currently on leave from parliament.

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