Representatives of the website WikiLeaks has accused the Icelandic police of having unlawfully arrested one of their employees in Iceland and interrogated him for 21 hours in relation to an action the US secret service is taking against them.
Icelandic police officers at the 2008 protests. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
According to Fréttabladid’s sources, a 17-year-old boy was arrested while breaking into the company Málning in Kópavogur on Monday evening last week, the same person who stole data from investment company Milestone in December and tried to sell it to the media.
On Thursday last week, spokesperson for WikiLeaks Julian Assange claimed in an email to the RÚV newsroom that the website’s employees had been subject to spying and harassing from US authorities after WikiLeaks intercepted a video showing American military jets attacking civilians.
Assange explained that while the video was being worked on in Iceland, strange things started to happen.
He stated that American secret service agents had followed him on a plane from Iceland to Norway and that an Icelandic employee of WikiLeaks had been arrested on Monday, interrogated for 21 hours and showed pictures of Assange that were taken without his knowledge.
Fridrik Smári Björgvinsson, senior officer at the Capital Region Police investigative department, confirmed to Fréttabladid that a young man was arrested on Monday and that it is the only case he can think of that relates to Assange’s accusations.
Björgvinsson would not comment on the arrest any further, but maintained that it has nothing to do with WikiLeaks and stated that no investigation of the website or its employees is taking place.
According to Fréttabladid, when the boy was arrested on Monday he had a laptop with him, which he said was owned by WikiLeaks. It is unknown whether he is in fact an employee of the website.
The boy has suffered from mental problems for some time and stayed temporarily at a treatment home for teenagers after he was arrested on suspicion of stealing data from Milestone.
Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir said that she contacted police authorities immediately after she heard about WikiLeaks’s accusations requesting an explanation. She said she was given a clear answer that the website is not under investigation.
Árnadóttir stated that it is impossible that American secret service agents had been working in Iceland in cooperation with Icelandic police officers. They would have to send a request from American courts, the minister explained, and no such request had been received.
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