Thursday February 7th 2013, 10:30 GMT
Recently it has become public that the FBI had secretly sent eight
agents to Iceland in 2011 in relation to the ongoing U.S. investigation
of WikiLeaks. The Icelandic Minister of Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson,
has confirmed this to the Icelandic press and furthermore stated that
when he found out on August 25th 2011 that the aim of the visit was to
interrogate an Icelandic citizen he ordered the local police to cease
all co-operation with the FBI. He indicated that the FBI had left the
country the day after.
In a joint statement Monday from the Icelandic Police Chief and the
Prosecutor General it is revealed that the FBI agents, in fact, did
not leave the country immediately and were conducting interrogation
of an Icelandic subject for at least five days, without the presence
of Icelandic police officers.
The person in question was a 18 year old individual who had offered
his assistance to WikiLeaks as a volunteer. For a period of some months
he did manage several minor tasks for the organisation as one of hundreds of volunteers all over the world assisting the organisation. Many of them have visited Julian Assange as did the person in question in the summer of 2011. A Canadian volunteer contacted the young Icelander with the idea of raising funds for WikiLeaks with online sales of T-shirts, coffee mugs and other merchandise. It later emerged that the Icelander deceived the Canadian volunteer into believing that he was WikiLeaks staff in order to have the funds transferred to his personal account instead of the organisations. When confronted, he admitted the wrongdoing. Because of requests from people close to him and his young age he was offered the opportunity to repay the stolen funds, which amounted to about $50,000. When it became clear he would not honour the agreement the matter was reported to the Icelandic Police.
WikiLeaks has learned that the police have finished the investigation
and that the matter has been sent to the police prosecutor. It has also
been reported that the police are processing charges of embezzlement
against the individual pertaining to a number of other organisations
within Iceland unrelated to WikiLeaks. It has materialized that the
individual has engaged in gross misrepresentations of different types
to obtain benefit from a range of parties.
We will not identify him by name in light of information that he has
recently received institutional medical treatment.
In light of the relentless ongoing persecution of U.S. authorities
against WikiLeaks it is not surprising that the FBI would try to abuse
this troubled young man and involve him in some manner in the attempt
to prosecute WikiLeaks staff. It is an indication of the great length
these entities are willing to go that they will disrespect the
sovereignty of other nations in their endeavor. There is strong
indication that the FBI used a combination of coercion and payments to
pressure the young man to co-operate.
For further background, see: