From Iceland — Interior Minister To Answer To Committee

Interior Minister To Answer To Committee

Published November 23, 2013

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has been asked to appear before the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee to answer for a leak within her ministry about an asylum seeker.
DV reports that both she and ministerial director Ragnhildur Hjaltadóttir have been called upon to appear before the committee, to explain how an “unofficial document” from the ministry about Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos ended up in the hands of the press.
Committee member Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir told reporters, “This is a very serious case. It is necessary to call the minister before the committee – it’s her ministry.”
Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters she wants an explanation for the debacle. “I want her to explain what she plans to do in the wake of this,” she said. “How on earth this could have happened, and whether basic rules about the confidentiality of personal information is understood [within the ministry].”
Katrín Jakobsdóttir added that, according to Icelandic law, the minister bears responsibility for “everything connected with the ministry. This is just the first step in digging into how these details left the ministry.”
As reported, Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos is facing deportation, and is currently in hiding from the police. Earlier this week, “unofficial ministry documents” given to members of the press stated that Tony was suspected of being involved in human trafficking and is not the father of the child being carried by his girlfriend, Evelyn Glory Joseph.
Not only did these accusations prove untrue – the “unofficial ministry documents” do not exist within ministry files. An assistant to the minister, Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, speculated that a ministry employee may have created the documents themselves, later clarifying that he did not intend to impugn the ministry staff.
Hanna Birna is expected to appear before the committee some time next week.

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