Unclear When High Court Case Will Begin in Iceland Skip to content

Unclear When High Court Case Will Begin in Iceland

It has not been decided when the case of former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde will open before the High Court (Landsdómur), which is now being summoned for the first time in Iceland’s history.

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Speaker of Parliament Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdóttir asks MPs how they want to cast their votes. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

The Icelandic parliament, Althingi, must vote a prosecutor no earlier than Tuesday next week. At the same time a special five-person parliamentary committee will be appointed to monitor the court case and assist the prosecutor, Fréttabladid reports.

The committee will likely be voted according to proportional representation, that is, the Social Democrats will have two seats on the committee and the Left-Greens, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party one each.

The High Court will have 15 judges: five Supreme Court judges, chief judge of Reykjavík District Court, a University of Iceland professor in constitutional law and eight people voted by Althingi. The president of the Supreme Court will also serve as the president of the High Court.

The case’s offense is, according to the law on the High Court, bound to the charges mentioned in the parliamentary resolution approved by Althingi yesterday. The prosecutor is obligated to seek all available evidence to support the charges.

The High Court proceedings are to be open to the public but the court can decide to make them private if there are sound reasons for doing so, for example, to protect the state’s interests. It is expected that the High Court proceedings will take place in the facilities of the Supreme Court.

It is expected that the High Court proceedings will be similar to those of the district courts. Witnesses will be called before court, which usually doesn’t happen in Supreme Court cases. Both the prosecutor and the defendant can call witnesses before the court.

Click here to read more about Haarde being taken to High Court.

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