<nettime> Raphael Satter: Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on

Patrice Riemens patrice at xs4all.nl
Fri Feb 1 23:32:44 PST 2013

(bwo Eveline Lubbers)

original to:

Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on WikiLeaks
Posted Friday, Feb. 01, 2013.
(Associated Press)

LONDON ? Iceland's interior minister said Friday that he ordered the
country's police not to cooperate with FBI agents sent to investigate
WikiLeaks two years ago, offering a rare glimpse into the U.S. Department
of Justice's investigation of the secret-busting site.

Ogmundur Jonasson told The Associated Press that he was upset when he
found out that FBI agents had flown to the country to interview an
unidentified WikiLeaks associate in August 2011.

"I, for one, was not aware that they were coming to Iceland," he said in a
brief telephone interview. "When I learned about it, I demanded that
Icelandic police cease all cooperation and made it clear that people
interviewed or interrogated in Iceland should be interrogated by Icelandic

Jonasson said that Icelandic diplomats protested the FBI's trip to their
U.S. counterparts.

"We made clear to the American authorities that this was not well-seen by
us," he said.

The exact purpose of the FBI's trip to Iceland isn't clear - the U.S.
Embassy in Reykjavik referred questions to the FBI, and the bureau did not
immediately return an email seeking comment - but the tiny north Atlantic
nation has been a key hub for WikiLeaks and its supporters.

In 2010 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange helped craft Iceland's
journalist-friendly media law, and WikiLeaks payment processor, DataCell,
is based in Reykjavik. Several key allies, including lawmaker Birgitta
Jonsdottir and WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, are also from the
country. Hrafnsson said in a telephone interview that he believed the
target of the FBI's trip might have been a former WikiLeaks volunteer,
whom he declined to name.

Regardless of what the target was, the minister's account of the FBI's
trip opens a window into a sensitive inquiry which has so far remained
largely under wraps. The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating
WikiLeaks since it began pouring classified U.S. documents into the public
domain, but officials have refused to reveal almost any information about
the size, scope, or nature of their inquiry, citing national security



Raphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphae.li/twitter

Read more here:

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