On September 13th, the government of Iceland convened for the first time since the summer break. By midnight the next day, the government had completely fallen.
In 2004, Hjalti Sigurjon Hauksson was imprisoned for raping his stepdaughter nearly every day for 12 years, until she was 18. Today, his crime has helped to collapse the government of Iceland. Several months ago, Benedikt Sveinsson, the father of Iceland’s Prime Minister, drafted a letter of recommendation for Hauksson, arguing that his “honor should be restored.” In Iceland, members of the public can privately recommend people for the honor of a pardon, and it may then be granted on discretion.
Hauksson and another convicted child molester, Robert Downey (formerly named Robert Arni Hreidarsson), received full pardons over the summer. This began to provoke quite a bit of discussion regarding the anachronistic nature of pardons, as well as the torment inflicted upon the victims. But, the questions became increasingly ambivalent when suddenly half of the government wanted to shut down the investigation. Namely, the conservative half.
The investigation was initially to reveal the names of those who recommended the pardons only to the members of Althing (the national parliament of Iceland). Virtually instantly, almost two-thirds of the investigative team refused to even look at the names. It is not hard to imagine why, as the father of the Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson is on the list of individuals who recommended pardons. He has been seeking official honorable legal pardons for convicted child predators, and using his connections in Althing to see them granted.
Mr. Benediktsson, despite having been informed of this by Iceland’s Minister of Justice in July, suppressed the issue until the parliamentary committee compelled the ministry to release the information to the press. In short, Iceland is the setting of an ongoing criminal conspiracy to pardon child molesters going as high as the highest administrative official in the nation.
At midnight on Sept. 14th, the center-left party holding Iceland’s current coalition together resigned from the government over the letter of recommendation along with accusations that Mr. Benediktsson had attempted to cover it up. Mr. Benediktsson, currently serving as chairman of the center-right Independence Party, asked on Monday for Parliament to be dissolved, allowing for unobstructed elections to take place on Oct. 28th.