Iceland phone tap suspects warned by phone companies

Ólafur Þór Hauksson

Two staff members of two different Icelandic telecommunications companies are believed to have informed people under investigation by the special prosecutor into the financial collapse that their phones were being tapped.

Unnamed Fréttablaðið sources claim that the special prosecutor’s office has brought charges to the Reykjavík police against the two telecommunications workers.

The two are accused of giving information to individuals implicated in the cases against Milestone and other unspecified companies, which impeded investigators’ progress in those cases.

According to Fréttablaðið the special prosecutor first suspected that phone tap information had been leaked to an individual being investigated for financial crimes in the Sjóvá and Milestone cases in the summer of 2009. The prosecutor’s office passed its suspicions on to the Reykjavík police, as it has no power to investigate such cases itself.

Similarly, in January 2010 suspicions arose that another potential defendant had been tipped off that he was under telephone surveillance. It was suspected that a high-powered employee of Skipti (which owns Síminn Iceland Telecom, among other companies) was responsible for the information leak. He was interviewed by police and has since resigned.

Investigations into the Milestone investment company and its one-time subsidiary, the insurance company Sjóvá are now complete. The evidence is said to be with special prosecutor Ólafur Þór Hauksson, who will decide whether or not criminal charges should be made against individuals.

In response to this news Vodafone released a statement to Vísir.is iterating that it is not under investigation in the case, and the company’s request for further information from the police following the news article was denied because the company is not under investigation.