Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and the publisher of DV, Björn Ingi Hrafnsson, have rejected claims from their would-be blackmailers that the former helped finance the latter’s takeover of the magazine.
As reported, sisters Malín Brand and Hlín Einarsdóttir were arrested on suspicion of having blackmailed the Prime Minister last Friday, threatening to reveal email exchanges he allegedly had with Björn Ingi concerning the takeover of DV, which Björn Ingi became the chair of last December. Björn Ingi was formerly a city councilperson for the Progressive Party, for which Sigmundur Davíð is the chairperson.
Kjarninn reports that the Prime Minister has dismissed the claims entirely. In a statement to the press, Sigmundur Davíð said that he has “no financial connection to Björn Ingi whatsoever, nor have I been involved with Vefpressan [Björn Ingi’s publishing company] purchasing DV in any way.” He added that he would not be granting any interviews until investigations are complete.
Björn Ingi, for his part, told Stundin he was “grief-stricken” over the news. This is likely due in part to the fact that Hlín is his ex-girlfriend. DV’s editor, Eggert Skúlason, described the blackmailers’ accusations as “bullshit”.
RÚV reports that when the purchase of DV by Vefpressan took place, the Media Commission investigated if there were any private interests, lenders, or similar peripheral parties involved, and found that there were none.
The two sisters were arrested last Friday in a lava field in Hafnarfjörður, where they were awaiting the delivery of the unspecified millions they asked from the Prime Minister in exchange for their silence. Hlín was editor of Bleikt.is, which is a sub-site of Pressan.is, a part of Vefpressan, and Malín is a journalist for Morgunblaðið.
This article has been updated.