Published September 15, 2017
All MPs of the Independence Party and members of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee refused to have a look at vital information about the restored honour of convicted rapist when the committee was addressing the case. Many were surprised at the reaction of the members of Independence party at the time, but now it has become clear that the father of the Prime Minister endorsed “restored honour” for a paedophile in the form of a letter of recommendation. This letter was not part of the information at the meeting; only documents that were connected to another paedophile, Robert Downey, who also got his honour restored.
Hildur Sverrisdóttir, MP for the Independence Party and a member of the committee, said after the meeting in an interview with Morgunblaðið that she thought she didn’t need to see the information as she didn’t believe it was relevant.
“For my behalf, I don’t need to see these testimonies to take a subjective decision about this issue,” Hildur said in the interview. She added that they could revise the law about restored honour but that the information about the testimonies was not vital for the discussion.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the parliamentary party chair of the Pirate Party, said after the meeting that this secretiveness was “mind-boggling”.
“This information is more of a secret than the code for the American nuclear missiles,” she said at the time, adding, “There is nothing about this information that justifies the secretive behavior around the matter.“
A month later it became clear that the father of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, Benedikt Sveinsson, wrote a letter of recommendation for a child abuser and endorsed that he could get his honour restored. The man, Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson, was found guilty a decade ago after he raped his stepdaughter almost every day, from when she was five years old until she was sixteen.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the chair of the Left-Green Party, said in an interview today with Iceland’s national broadcasting service RÚV that the meeting with the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee should be investigated and that there was still a lot of information missing. She added that majority of the Committee should be replaced.
As we have reported at Reykjavík Grapevine, the government collapsed because of the secretiveness surrounding the case, as Bjarni had been informed his father had vouched for a paedophile last July, yet never disclosed this information until a parliamentary committee compelled the Ministry of Justice to make this information public. All parties have agreed that elections should be held soon.