Iceland Hires International Corruption Hunter Skip to content

Iceland Hires International Corruption Hunter

Norwegian-French magistrate Eva Joly, famous for her global fight against financial corruption, was hired as a consultant to Iceland’s Ministry of Justice yesterday to assist on the investigation into the events leading up to Iceland’s economic collapse.

Joly has already expressed her opinion on the office of the special investigator and prosecutor, Ólafur Thór Hauksson, and his position towards the attorney general, Morgunbladid reports.

“He should be completely independent. There shouldn’t be any intervention with his work. It is very tempting to try and influence it and point the investigation in another direction when it is approaching someone who is close to oneself,” Joly said.

Joly added that it was a “joke” that the special investigator only has four assistants. Hauksson agreed, saying that it is time for reinforcement and that he will hire another police officer from the unit of economic crimes next Monday.

Hauksson will also issue an estimate soon on how much manpower his office requires until the end of 2009. According to the budget bill, ISK 50 million (USD 444,000, EUR 350,000) will be allocated to his office this year and the current facilities have room for 12 employees.

“I don’t think this investigation can be undertaken with less than 20 people,” Joly commented.

Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir said it is important to listen carefully to Joly’s advice regarding sufficient manpower.

In terms of the position of the special investigator towards the attorney general, they are on different administration levels, Árnadóttir explained. The attorney general is the highest-ranking prosecutor in Iceland, but if that person proves unfit, he or she must step down.

“If Eva Joly has certain ideas on how this arrangement should be changed, we will certainly examine them carefully,” Árnadóttir said.

Hauksson said he has not felt he lacked independence. His wishes had been complied with at the Ministry of Justice and the attorney general had not interfered with his investigation. He said he appreciates Joly’s advice but wants to be careful about changing the administration.

According to the Norway Post, Joly received international recognition for her fight against corruption in relation to the Elf oil company case and the bank Credit Lyonnaise in France. She has also worked as an adviser to the Norwegian Development Aid Agency (NORAD) and Norway’s Ministry of Justice.

Click here to read more about the office of the special investigator and prosecutor.

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