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Iceland: First leader to face criminal charges over the 2008 crisis.

Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir Haarde in a court in Reykjavik.

Geir Haarde, the first world leader to face criminal charges over the crisis, defiantly rejected claims that he should have foreseen the crash. Of four ministers named by an inquiry in 2010, Mr Haarde is the only one to be charged.

Mr Haarde stands accused of “gross negligence”, for his lax oversight of the country’s banks, even after being warned that the financial sector had overexpanded.

He has complained that he is the subject of a “political vendetta” mounted by the now-ruling Social Democrats.

“I had the belief that Iceland could become an international financial centre, such as Luxembourg or New York,” he said.

“Nobody predicted that there would be a financial collapse in Iceland” in 2008, he said, adding that …READ MORE HERE