From Iceland — Trial Of Interior Minister Assistant Will Go On

Trial Of Interior Minister Assistant Will Go On

Published October 10, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

The trial of former Interior Minister assistant Gísli Freyr Valdórsson will continue, as the presiding judge has refused the defence’s request to dismiss the case.

Vísir reports that Gísli’s defence attorney tried to have the case dismissed in Reykjavík District Court. He argued that the charge against Gísli was unclear, and argued again that the prosecutor putting a Facebook “Like” on a story that painted Gísli in an unfavorable light constituted bias.

The prosecution responded that there was nothing unclear about the charge against Gísli Freyr. He is charged with breach of confidentiality against Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos, for allegedly editing and then leaking a memo about Omos to select members of the media. Second, the prosecution questioned the definitiveness of the meaning of a Like, saying that a person can put a Like on a Facebook post for any number of reasons.

Ultimately, the presiding judge ruled that the defence did not have a compelling case for dismissal, and the matter will advance to the main portion of the trial.

As reported, the evidence against Gísli is damning. According to police investigations, a Ministry employee named simply “B” (later confirmed to be Gísli), 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, published their story, referring to an Interior Ministry document, and Fréttablaðið made the accusations against Tony Omos front-page news on November 20. These accusations would later prove false or misleading.

Gísli maintains that he is innocent of the charges against him.

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