Parliament’s Prosecutor Barred from Important Data Skip to content

Parliament’s Prosecutor Barred from Important Data

It appears as if Sigrídur Fridjónsdóttir, the prosecutor for the Icelandic parliament in the case against former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, will need a court order to obtain access to a 61-page report with interviews conducted by the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) and emails sent and received by Haarde.

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Inside Althingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

According to law, the SIC has delivered all documents used in the investigation to the National Archives of Iceland for preservation, Fréttabladid reports.

Some of these documents have been made accessible to academics provided certain conditions are fulfilled. However, the law on SIC states that in criminal charges against persons mentioned in the documents, the same rules on access to information apply as in general criminal cases.

Fridjónsdóttir has requested access to the documents but her request was denied based on the provision on privacy in the Constitution of Iceland.

“I find it very important to get access to the report, including the testimonies of key people in the banks, the Central Bank and the ministries, but [the National Archives] don’t believe they have the authority to hand it over along with Geir’s email exchange,” Fridjónsdóttir said.

She added that without the documents, she can hardly prepare a charge in this case. “Otherwise I might have to question people myself, because it is difficult to call people before the High Court [Landsdómur] without knowing what they know.”

Fridjónsdóttir explained that in a regular criminal case, the prosecution can base its charge on police reports. In this case it isn’t enough to reference the SIC report which was made public because both the prosecutor and the jury have to see the documents on which the SIC report is based to form an independent evaluation.

Before questioning people interviewed in relation to the SIC report herself, Fridjónsdóttir wants to try obtaining the documents the National Archives won’t grant her access to by submitting a request on their confiscation in the New Year. Such a request would probably have to be submitted to the High Court.

Until then, the preparations for the case can continue. Fridjónsdóttir also requested access to other documents collected by the SIC, which has been granted.

Click here to read more about the case against Haarde and here to read more about the SIC report.

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