Former Iceland PM negligence trial could be thrown out

Iceland’s special court convened to try former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde for negligence in the lead up to, and during, the banking crisis will decide in the next four weeks whether or not to throw the case out before trial. Haarde says he has a clear conscience and will wait patiently for the court’s decision.

The High Court (not to be confused with the Supreme Court) came together this morning to discuss the negligence case against Haarde and whether to grant his lawyers’ request to throw it out on technical grounds. Haarde’s defence lawyer, Andri Arnason, claims that the case has not been adequately investigated, that the charges are not clear enough and do not outline precisely what the former PM did wrong. Questions are also being raised as to why Haarde is the only former government minister to face trial and whether or not that is fair.

Heir H. Haarde told RUV that this is no ordinary criminal case and is as much about politics as anything else. He believes it is a case of the new government doing all it can to punish the old one — specifically the Independence Party. He remarked how odd it is that the Althingi prosecutor did not have the final say on the case, but rather the slim majority of MPs who voted for the trial to go ahead. Perhaps, he muses, the Althingi prosecutor should not prosecute this case at all — Left Green party government ministers should do it instead.