US Embassy: Iceland Wikileaks Probe Legal Skip to content

US Embassy: Iceland Wikileaks Probe Legal

US Ambassador to Iceland Luis E. Arreaga was informed about the parliamentary immunity of MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir at a meeting in the Icelandic Foreign Ministry with the ministry’s undersecretary Einar Gunnarsson and international law expert Tómas H. Heidar yesterday morning.

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

At the meeting Arreaga was also asked for information about what lies behind the US Ministry of Justice’s demand that social network Twitter release personal information on the Icelandic MP, Fréttabladid reports.

The US Embassy to Iceland maintains that the US authorities’ inquiries into the MPs online communication via Twitter are legal.

“We assured the Icelandic government that the investigation of the United States Department of Justice is in accordance with American law and follows all guidelines on court regulations and a fair trial affirmed in the United States Constitution and the appropriate federal law,” the embassy’s spokesperson Laura Gritz said in an announcement released after the meeting.

A press release from the ministry says that in addition to calling for information, Gunnarsson and Heidar expressed their concern that an Icelandic MP is the subject of a criminal investigation of this nature.

They explained that Jónsdóttir has parliamentary immunity in Iceland and that she cannot be separated from the Icelandic Althingi parliament in this manner.

They stressed that there should be no further disruption to her work as an MP, including her rights to travel and participate in international political discourse.

In the subpoena delivered to Twitter on Friday, information about five persons was requested, in addition to Jónsdóttir, Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, the solider who is believed to have leaked a host of documents from the US Foreign Service, and two hackers, one American and one Dutch.

Twitter informed the five individuals about the US authorities’ request. They have until after next weekend to fight the release of information.

Jónsdóttir traveled to Canada yesterday where she will speak at a conference on the freedom of information. She had originally planned to fly through the US but in light of recent events she decided to fly through London instead.

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