Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir told reporters that contrary to a statement from Wikileaks co-director Julian Assange (above), Icelandic authorities did not spy on employees of Wikileaks.
Last week, Assange sent a statement to members of the press contending, among other things, that “we have discovered half a dozen attempts at covert surveillance in Reykjavik both by native English speakers and Icelanders”. Wikileaks believe they are being sought after by US authorities, as the site plans to release a video on 5 April showing soldiers in Afghanistan killing civilians and journalists.
Árnadóttir dismissed the allegations, telling Vísir, “I looked into that yesterday and today. There is no police investigation on Wikileaks, so these charges don’t hold.”
Assange also said that an employee of Wikileaks was arrested and interrogated, held overnight without charge, and that “during the course of interrogation, the volunteer was shown covert photos of me outside the Reykjavik restaurant ‘Icelandic Fish & Chips’, where a WikiLeaks production meeting took place on Wednesday March 17–the day before individuals operating under the name of the U.S. State Department boarded my flight to Copenhagen.”
Árnadóttir calls this a “misunderstanding”, saying, “The young man was arrested because of a break-in, and he had a laptop on him. When he was asked whose laptop it was, he said it belonged to Wikileaks. So I can imagine there’s an explanation behind these conspiracy theories.”
This still is quite different than what Assange contends happened, and also does not address why police brought up the soon-to-be released video during the course of the interrogation, as Assange asserts.
(Photo: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen (CC-BY-SA))