European MP Probes Haarde Trial in Iceland Skip to content

European MP Probes Haarde Trial in Iceland

Pieter Omtzigt, a parliamentarian for the Christian Democratic Appeal in the Netherlands and member of the European Council, is currently in Iceland to obtain information on the Icelandic parliament Alþingi’s High Court (Landsdómur) case against former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde.

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Geir (right) with his lawyer, Andri Árnason, during the Landsdómur trial. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

“I launched this investigation six months ago after convincing other parliamentarians [of the European Council] that what was happening in Iceland was interesting and had a reference to many other states,” Omtzigt told Morgunblaðið.

“Now the interest in this case is increasing because politicians have become concerned about growing and continuous political instability among the member states of the Eurozone,” Omtzigt added.

He pointed out that Iceland was the first country to hold a politician accountable in court because of the financial crisis. In Ukraine a politician was put on trial for different charges and Omtzigt also intends to go to Kiev and investigate that case.

Omtzigt believes that in Southern Europe where the risk of state insolvency is looming, people may take the example of the High Court and demand that political leaders take responsibility for their actions in the European debt crisis.

The controversial verdict over former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir H. Haarde was announced last month. He was found guilty in one out of four charges but was not made to face any punishment.

Maintaining his innocence throughout the proceedings, Geir accused the plaintiffs and judges of having staged a political trial and is considering appealing his case before the European Court of Human Rights.

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ESA

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