From Iceland — Interior Minister Digs Deeper

Interior Minister Digs Deeper

Published May 8, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has made false statements about certain facts of the Tony Omos memo scandal.

Kjarninn reports that while the minister has often said that she cannot comment on theTony Omos case while police are still investigating ministry computers and questioning staff, this is actually not the case. In fact, there is nothing legally preventing her from commenting on the matter.

Hanna Birna has also told members of the press, and members of parliament, that the leaked memo on Tony Omos was “not comparable to any document in the ministry”. In fact, the police have concluded, that the memo in question was created in the ministry at the behest of the office manager, and then sent to at least eight people in the ministry, including Hanna Birna and her two assistants, Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir and Gísli Freyr Valdórsson. The next day, what would later prove to be false information contained in the memo appeared on news website

This is not the first time the minister has been fuzzy with the facts. Last March, shecontended that the Dublin Regulation obliges Iceland to return asylum seekers to their previous point of departure. This is incorrect: the Dublin Regulation gives signatory nations the right to conduct such deportations, but they are not obliged to do so, and may choose instead to grant the refugee asylum.

Police investigations of the leak are still ongoing.

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