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Verdict due on Iceland's former PM over banking crisis

Geir Haarde led the government when the country’s banks collapsed in October 2008.

Haarde, centre, sitting in a Reykjavik courtroom last month.
Haarde, centre, sitting in a Reykjavik courtroom last month.
Image: AP Photo/Kristinn Ingvarsson/PA

AN ICELANDIC COURT is due to deliver its verdict today on whether the country’s former prime minister Geir Haarde is guilty of criminal responsibility over Iceland’s banking collapse.

Geir Haarde is the only government leader to face trial over the financial crisis of 2008.

He led the Icelandic government at the time of Iceland’s banking collapse and financial crisis of October 2008, when the country’s three main banks collapsed within the space of one week.

Haarde has rejected culpability for the crisis, telling the court last month that neither he nor Icelandic financial regulators knew the real state of the country’s banks until they collapsed under their debt.

The prosecution maintains that Haarde failed to implement recommendations made by a government committee in 2006 to strengthen the national economy. The former PM has contended that those recommendations would not have prevented the 2008 crash.

BusinessWeek reports that Haarde could face two years in prison if convicted of the four charges relating to the banking collapse. He rejects all accusations against him.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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