Interior Minister Assistant Charged

Interior Minister Assistant Charged

Published August 15, 2014

Minister Also Wants "Courts And Law Enforcement" To Be Managed By Another Minister

Photos by
Navid Nouri

Minister Also Wants "Courts And Law Enforcement" To Be Managed By Another Minister

Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, an assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, has been charged with breach of confidentiality.

RÚV reports that the State Prosecutor has filed charges against Gísli for allegedly leaking a memo to select members of the press which contained false allegations about Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos.

Hanna Birna, in turn, issued a statement to the media saying that, despite Gísli’s repeated and continued assertions of his innocence, “I have taken the decision to relieve him of his position while the matter is before a court of law.” The Minister furthermore said she sent a request to Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson that “those matters under my jurisdiction regarding the courts and law enforcement be moved under another minister while Gísli Freyr’s trial proceeds.”

As reported, police investigations of the mobile phone use of five Ministry employees and the laptop use of two of them were thoroughly examined. The Supreme Court ruling on the matter alleges that, according to investigations, the computer and mobile phone use of one Ministry employee—referred to simply as “B”—raised many suspicions.

DV initially, and erroneously, reported that Þórey was the suspect in question; in truth, RÚV and DV confirmed on June 20 that Gísli Freyr is “B” (“DV biður Þóreyju afsökunar,” RÚV and “Gísli Freyr einnig með réttarstöðu grunaðs manns,” DV).

According to investigations, “B” reportedly searched for the memo in question on their computer on the evening of November 19, at 18:46 and 22:20. Police found that when the computer was turned off that evening, the notice “Do you want to save changes you made to [A],” referring to the memo, popped up on the screen.

At 18:40 and 22:43 that same evening, B phoned an employee of the news outlet Vísir, and called again an additional three times that same evening. B then allegedly called newspaper Morgunblaðið the following morning. Hours later, mbl.is published their story, referring to an Interior Ministry document, and Fréttablaðið made the accusations against Tony Omos front-page news on November 20.

Neither Gísli Freyr nor Hanna Birna have responded to calls from the press.

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