Parliamentary President Einar K. Guðfinnsson has reportedly ignored an MP’s request to take up a parliamentary discussion on a leaked memo about an asylum seeker. His own response to the breaking story has been called “prejudiced” by the journalist who wrote the article.
Nigerian newspaper The Nation, covering the story of Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos, revealed that “a formal request for a special standing in the Icelandic parliament on the matter was filed in December but has yet to attract the interest of the leader of parliament and has not been formally added to the agenda. The leader, like the minister, is a member of the conservative [Independence] party.”
Social Democrat MP Valgerður Bjarnadóttir, and other members of parliament, confirmed for DV that she actually submitted the proposal twice – once right before Christmas, and again earlier this month, when parliament re-convened.
Parliamentary President Einar K. Guðfinnson not only denied any such proposal was filed; he also cast aspersions on The Nation, saying, “It seems to be that the source, this newspaper, is about as reliable a source as every other Nigerian letter” – referring here to 419 scams.
Atli Þór Fanndal, the journalist who wrote the article, took issue with Einar’s remarks, telling DV in part, “The Nation is a respected and important newspaper which has tirelessly and courageously written about corruption in its own country. … When the Parliamentary President makes use of prejudiced remarks and likens this media to a 419 scam to deflect criticism from his own job, you can’t help but wonder what kind of fair treatment a regular Nigerian asylum seeker can expect.”
As reported, the office of the State Prosecutor has demanded the Ministry of the Interior hand over any and all documents related to a memo which leaked last November to select members of the media. The memo impugned both Tony Omos and the expecting mother of his child, Evelyn Glory Joseph, with accusations which later proved untrue. Whilst the ministry has denied creating the memo, all evidence suggests the ministry as the source.