The lawyer for Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos has called into question the neutrality of the Ministry of the Interior to handle his appeal for asylum in Iceland.
RÚV reports that Omos’ case was heard in Reykjavík District Court today, with his legal team aiming to overturn the decision of the Directorate of Immigration to deny him asylum. His lawyer, Stefán Karl Kristjánsson, has argued that the Ministry of the Interior – which oversees asylum seeker applications – cannot be trusted to review Omos’ case with neutrality.
This, Stefán says, is because Omos’ appeal was filed before the the memo leak case came to light. Since then, more information has been revealed about how Omos’ initial application was handled. In addition, one of the Minister’s assistants, Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, is currently on trial, facing charges of breach of confidentiality for allegedly releasing the memo on Omos to select members of the press.
Omos was deported from Iceland last December. He is reportedly in Italy, where his lawyer says he is “very distressed” to be separated from his child and the child’s mother.
The court has ruled to advance the case to the main portion of the trial on November 4.