The office of the Special Prosecutor – charged with the task of investigating what illegal activities were involved in bringing about the 2008 financial collapse – has been stepping up its investigation, looking into money laundering at the country’s top banks, and using wiretaps to gather information.
Ólafur Þór Hauksson (above) has been busy lately. Speaking on the television news talk show Kastljósið last night, he admitted that wiretapping had been used on a number of suspects. However, when Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, answering a question posed to him by Progressive MP Gunnar Braga Sveinsson, revealed last summer that the office of the Special Prosecutor had used wiretaps 72 times in 2009, the cat was effectively out of the bag, and it was no longer possible to use wiretapping to gather information on suspects anymore.
One story that had recently been circulating was that an employee of a phone company warned one of the suspects being investigated by the Special Prosecutor that their phone was being tapped. When asked if this story was true, Ólafur said that he could not comment, but he also did not deny the veracity of the story, either.
In a more general sense, Ólafur said that all three of Iceland’s major banks were being investigated for market manipulation. In the course of this investigation, they have had to comb through some five million e-mails with a staff of 90, Vísir reports. He added that Icelandic banks were also suspected of, or showed possible signs of, having engaged in money laundering before the crash.
Ólafur is confident that their investigation will conclude in 2014, but emphasised that 2012 will be a big year for the investigations.