From Iceland — Interior Minister: Call To Resign "Unbelievably Inappropriate"

Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

Published October 20, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has dismissed a Left-Green proposal that she resign as “unbelievably inappropriate”. Her criticisms that the proposal contains falsehoods, however, appear to contradict the facts.

Last weekend, the Left-Green Party held a party convention wherein a number of proposals were bundled into a general platform. Amongst these proposals is that Hanna Birna resign, in part because “the Minister did not speak truthfully to parliament and the Minister directly intervened in the investigation [of her ministry].”

Speaking on radio station Bylgjan, Hanna Birna was dismissive of the proposal, telling listeners: “I find [the proposal] unbelievable inappropriate, apart from how the contents of the proposal are untrue.”

Where the proposal’s contentions are concerned, it is a fact that, on June 18, she told parliament: “I do not know these investigations [of the Ministry]. I do not know about them, and it would be unnatural if I knew about any part of this investigation.”

This directly contradicts what Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson’s third letter states about her activities in the Ministry at that time.

As was brought to light in the letter, Hanna Birna had, on many occasions before and after June 18, “questioned the scope of the investigations [of her ministry], how far we were going, that we were taking the computer of her assistant, getting information about phone records, and many other things,” former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson told him, adding that Hanna Birna told him directly, “We will of course let you have everything. You will have access to all of it, but aren’t you going too far in all this?”

Stefán also expressed surprise at just how much Hanna Birna knew about investigations of her Ministry, saying that she had “specific comments about specific elements of the investigation” that compelled Stefán to “gather information just to answer her questions.”

Hanna Birna also told Bylgjan listeners that she might consider resigning “after the dust has settled”, calling the attention she has received about the matter “an ugly political game”.

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