An MP for the Progressive Party is seeking to look into eliminating the statute of limitations on sex crimes in Iceland. As it stands now, the statute of limitations runs out after anywhere from two to 15 years, depending on the seriousness of the offence.
RÚV reports that Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, an MP for the Progressive Party, is leading the effort. She raised the point yesterday on Facebook, saying, “The time has come to change the law so that sex crimes do not run into a statute of limitations. When people finally find the strength to come forward, these cases can no longer be prosecuted. Not OK.”
Speaking with RÚV, she stresses that the matter is particularly important now, saying, “The discussion has become so strong, as we all know from the #metoo discussions, and naturally, the case that has been heavily discussed over the past few days,” referring to news that has been brought to light that four women have come forward to talk about sexual harassment they suffered at the hands of Jón Baldvín Hannibalsson, a former Foreign Minister and ambassador. In some cases, the incidents described occurred years ago.
“I understand that it is possibly difficult to prove an offence has occurred when such a long amount of time has passed,” she said. “But it should be possible to put forward conclusive evidence even though time has passed.”
Some sex crimes are already not subject to a statute of limitations. The most serious offences committed against children in Iceland are not subject to them, due to changes to the law made in 2007.