The trial of former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde will in all likelihood continue, as a parliamentary committee majority voted to reject a conservative proposal to stop the trial. Conservative chairman Bjarni Benediktsson said the ruling was “no surprise”.
As reported, parliament voted to charge Geir with negligence and mismanagement for his part in the economic collapse of 2008. Geir has continuously maintained his innocence, saying that he could have done nothing to prevent the crash. Last winter, conservative chairman Bjarni Benediktsson submitted a parliamentary proposal calling for the trial to be dropped.
The proposal’s support did not fall sharply across party lines, but actually had some support from members of the ruling coalition. This included Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson and Leftist-Green MP Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir, as well was some MPs from the Social Democrats.
While the proposal’s future looked momentarily bright, it has been all but defeated, RÚV reports, as the majority of the Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs – to which the proposal was submitted – has voted to recommend it be rejected. This recommendation came from the Social Democrats, the Leftist-Greens, and The Movement. With this recommendation, the proposal is likely to be defeated when submitted to the floor of parliament again today.
Conservative chairman Bjarni Benediktsson told RÚV that the news was “no surprise”, saying, “the [committee] majority and many within the ruling coalition do not want to have a discussion of substance on the matter.”