State Prosecutor Wants Authority To Wiretap Government Officials - The Reykjavik Grapevine

State Prosecutor Wants Authority To Wiretap Government Officials

Published May 24, 2016

Photos by
Paul Fontaine

Legislative changes are needed to give the State Prosecutor the authority to wiretap government officials suspected of bribery.

RÚV reports that a bill currently in parliament grants authorities the permission to wiretap those suspected of committing crimes with a penalty of at least six years in prison, and that are of pertinent interest to the general public or an individual. Amongst the crimes especially named are prostitution, organised crime and kidnapping.

However, State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir has submitted a recommendation to the Ministry of the Interior that an article be included that would give her office the authority to issue wiretaps against Icelandic politicians suspected of bribing or accepting bribes.

Sigríður is not alone in this opinion, as she is following the recommendations of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, who criticised Iceland last year for having little if any legal mechanisms in place for combating bribery – sentiments echoed by GRECO.

Corruption remains a serious issue in Iceland, and has been cause for concern at home and abroad alike.

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