From Iceland — Haarde Trial Verdict Today

Haarde Trial Verdict Today

Published April 23, 2012

The verdict in the trial of former prime minister Geir H. Haarde will be made today, RÚV reports.
Geir stands accused of negligence and mismanagement leading to the bank collapse of 2008. Numerous witnesses have come forward in the course of the trial, from former Central Bank chairman Davíð Oddsson to former and current members of government, as well as former high-rollers in Iceland’s banking community.
Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir concluded her final arguments by stating that when it comes to the personal responsibility of a government minister, the law is clear. Geir had many opportunities to step in and prevent disaster, she said, all of which he chose to ignore. Andri Árnason, Geir’s defence attorney, argued on the other hand that many matters were kept deliberately hidden from Geir until it was too late, if they were revealed at all.
Geir has insisted that he is innocent of the charges against him, saying, “I’m very glad this part of the trial is over. I will wait for their decision without anxiety. I am innocent of all the charges against me and am optimistic of what will become of the decision of the court.”
If Geir is found guilty of the charges against him, he could face up to two years in prison. This will also make him the first politician in Icelandic history to face a criminal sentence for neglecting his duties as a government official.

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