From Iceland — Icelandic Government Could Settle Geir Haarde Suit

Icelandic Government Could Settle Geir Haarde Suit

Published December 5, 2013

The Independence Party-led Ministry of the Interior could settle former Independence Party chairperson Geir H. Haarde’s suit against the Icelandic government.
DV points out that, according to the regulations of the European Human Rights Court (ECHR), the Ministry of the Interior could agree to award Geir damages and have him exonerated of the charges he was convicted of last year. This would prevent his suit against the Icelandic government from reaching the ECHR, if they agree to initiate a trial.
A settlement might be more likely under this government than the previous one: the Minister of the Interior, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, hails from the Independence Party – the same party Geir chaired when he served as Prime Minister.
Last month, the ECHR agreed to review his case, but have not yet reached a decision on whether or not to initiate a trial.
Last year, Haarde was found guilty of one charge of four of negligence and mismanagement during his time in office, contributing to the economic crash of 2008. He was not punished, and in fact the state was ordered to pay for his legal expenses.
Although Geir would go on to get a job as an “international affairs consultant” for the law offices of Opus, he announced shortly after the trial that he would send his case to ECHR. He contended that much about the trial against him was “reprehensible”, and said that the Icelandic government broke international human rights law regarding the right to be charged for a specific crime. Rather, he said, his trial was a political one initiated by political enemies.

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