Left Greens at boiling point over Geir Haarde trial

Iceland’s Left Green Movement is up in arms about Left Green Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson’s very public decision to support the opposition’s bill to halt the trial of former PM Geir H. Haarde.

Left Green MPs have this weekend openly criticised Ögmundur for what many describe as inappropriate comment on the matter. The minister originally voted in favour of trying Geir for negligence, but has since decided it is unfair to have only one politician on trial over the financial crisis. He also voted in favour of trying two other former ministers who were eventually let off. Most Left Greens support the trial; but their anger at Ögmundur stems from the fact that they feel it inappropriate for the justice minister to talk publicly about his opinions on such a case.

There are even calls for him to resign as a minister. Two such voices within the party are MPs Þráinn Bertelsson and Álfheiður Ingadóttir.

Álfheiður told Bylgjan radio that a justice minister should not talk about his feelings and opinions on one particular judicial case and that it does not matter who that justice minister is — even one from her own party.

Ögmundur and two other Left Green MPs (Guðfríður Lilja Mósesdóttir and Jón Bjarnason) voted against Friday’s resolution to cancel Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson’s resolution to stop the trial. Friday’s resolution was narrowly defeated, which means Bjarni’s resolution will now be discussed and voted on. Even some MPs who are against cancelling the trial decided to vote ‘no’ on Friday, saying that to stop the resolution before parliament even got the chance to debate it would have amounted to censorship.