From Iceland — Special Prosecutor Accused Of Illegal Phone Taps

Special Prosecutor Accused Of Illegal Phone Taps

Published September 22, 2014

A former employee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor says the office tapped phones of suspects illegally. The Minister of Justice believes the matter needs to be investigated.

In an interview with Fréttablaðið, former Special Prosecutor’s Office employee Jón Óttar Ólafsson said that the office listened in on illegal taps of phone conversations of clients and lawyers alike. Both the Special Prosecutor (shown above) and the State Prosecutor have dismissed the allegations as completely untrue.

However, RÚV reports that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson – serving in his capacity as acting Justice Minister – believes the matter warrants further examination. Sigmundur argues that public trust in both the Special Prosecutor and the State Prosecutor is highly important. At the same time, he expressed doubts that the truth of the matter will ever be fully brought to light.

As reported in 2011, the Post and Telecom Administration has rules in place regarding how, who, and under what circumstances phone taps can be used, but these regulations are not tightly enforced nor supervised. At the time, then Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson said that regulations and controls regarding phone tapping need to be stricter.

How and when the allegations against the Special Prosecutor will be investigated has as yet not been determined.

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