From Iceland — Haarde Supporters List Questioned; MP Backlashes Backlash

Haarde Supporters List Questioned; MP Backlashes Backlash

Published June 8, 2011

A man who never put his name on the list of people supporting Geir H. Haarde discovered that his name and registration number (kennitala) were added without his knowledge. Meanwhile, a member of parliament responds to criticism that Haarde’s trial is a political one.
As most are aware, former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde is currently on trial for negligence and mismanagement during his term in office, contributing to the 2008 banking collapse. Haarde and his supporters have been very vocal, contending at times that he could not have prevented the crash, that others were just as guilty as he, or that he is the scapegoat for the economic crisis.
A website for his supporters, Málsvörn, is collecting the signatures of Haarde supporters, and also accepting financial contributions to the cause. However, writer and poet Arngrímur Vídalín says his name and kennitala was added to the list by someone other than himself.
In an open letter he wrote to the website organisers, he points out that due to the information posted, he believes his name and address were obtained from his blog and not the National Registry. From where and how his kennitala was learned remains a mystery.
“In other words I did not register myself onto the petition and want my name taken off of it,” he writes. “This is not to say that I do not support justice in the case against Geir Haarde – everyone wants that.” But he asks the organisers why there is no information about how one removes their name from the list, if there have been any measures taken to prevent false registrations, and in what way, if any, his name will be prevented from re-appearing on the list once removed.
In related news, Leftist-Green MP Björn Valur Gíslason responded to the oft-repeated criticism from Haarde supporters that the trial is baseless, and merely political revenge from political opponents.
“Has it occured to no one that Geir is guilty of that which he is being charged?,” he writes. “Is the [Special Investigative Commission report] forgotten? Wasn’t it one of the report’s conclusions that Haarde showed negligence on the job, and neglected to act, with disastrous consequences?”
By Icelandic law, a government minister found guilty of negligence or mismanagement can face up to two years in prison.

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