Iceland’s former Prime Minister Geir Haarde is the first world leader to be brought to trial for his handling of the 2008 financial crisis that bankrupted Iceland and saw the collapse of the country’s three largest banks.
Geir Haarde’s response to the serious charges levied against him in Reykjavik are that he is the victim of political persecution and will be exonerated. Iceland suffered more heavily than many other European nations during the financial crisis of 2008 as three of the nation’s largest banks imploded and the nation declared sovereign bankruptcy. Some Icelanders decry the trial while others tout it as an example of public accountability for the crisis. At the time of the crisis Geir Haarde was Iceland’s Prime Minister from the Independence Party. There is a dispute between Iceland and the U.K. concerning the collapse of IceSave, a division of Landsbanki which former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown accused of illegal behavior.