From Iceland — Leaked Memo Solely "To Impugn Reputation" Of Asylum Seeker

Leaked Memo Solely “To Impugn Reputation” Of Asylum Seeker

Published May 3, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Reykjavík District Court has concluded, amongst other things, that the sole purpose for leaking the now-infamous memo on Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos was “to impugn his reputation” in the face of growing public protest over his treatment by the Ministry of the Interior.

RÚV reports that police authorities filed a motion with both the Reykjavík District Court and the Supreme Court, demanding that the news editor of tell the police who wrote the original news story about Tony Omos, as well as whether and how they had access to the informal memo on Omos. Both courts denied the police’s request, saying that they had not significantly demonstrated that they had explored all investigative avenues before demanding journalists reveal their sources.

In the District Court’s opinion, however, they believe the memo was put together for the sole purpose of “impugning the reputation” of Omos, as public protest against his impending deportation was growing. The accusations made against Omos in the memo would later prove to be false and misleading.

Police have concluded, in the course of their investigations so far, that the memo was first written by a lawyer working in the Ministry of the Interior, at the behest of the ministry’s office manager. This memo was then sent from the office manager to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir and her two assistants on November 19. The following day, published their news story on the Tony Omos case, citing information contained in the memo in question.

At the same time, police believe it is growing more unlikely that the memo was leaked directly from the ministry email system. Investigations are still ongoing, and even the minister herself has been questioned by police.

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