The defamation case between the former Interior Minister’s assistant, Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir and two DV journalists, Jóhann Páll Jóhannsson and Jón Bjarki Magnússon, has been settled against the journalists wishes, reports RÚV.
As reported, Þórey sought the maximum sentence of two years, as well as damages, because Jóhann and Jón momentarily misidentified her as “employee B” in court documents related to the now infamous leaked memo case.
Within hours, the journalists had issued a correction, as they realised that “employee B” referred to the Minister’s other assistant, Gísli Freyr Valdórsson – who eventually confessed to leaking the memo.
In a statement to the press, Jóhann and Jón write that the owners of DV decided to settle the case even though they wished to take the issue to court.
Jóhann and Jón contend that throughout the year in which they reported on the leaked memo case, Þórey mislead the pair on numerous occasions, even going so far as denying that any confidential information had been leaked from the ministry – despite evidence to the contrary.
Recently, Reporters Without Borders (RWB), expressed concerns over this case in conjunction with a perceived decline in press freedom in Iceland.
The International Press Institute also called Iceland out when they got wind of the case and has urged the Icelandic government to prioritise reform of its archaic defamation laws.
The new owners of DV decided to settle the case and will pay out 330.000 ISK (roughly 2.600 USD) which Þórey plans to donate to Stígamót Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence.