Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson Resigns After Being Named in Panama LeaksThe European politician is the first major casualty in the whistleblower scandal. Don't expect him to be the last figure to face repercussions.
The fallout from the Panama Papers has begun. The first prominent casualty is Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.
The European politician resigned on Tuesday after being implicated in the document leak. According to The New York Times, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, a government minister and deputy chairman of the Progressive Party, will replace Gunnlaugsson as prime minister of Iceland. Gunnlaugsson will remain as chairperson of the Progressive Party.
The Times reports:
Mr. Gunnlaugsson had insisted on staying in office after the leaked documents revealed that he and his wealthy partner, now his wife, had set up a company in 2007 in the British Virgin Islands through the law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The documents also suggested that he sold his half of the company to her for $1, on the last day of 2009, just before the implementation of a new law that would have required him as a member of Parliament to declare his ownership as a conflict of interest.
Mr. Gunnlaugsson had said that the leak contained no news, adding that he and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir, had not hidden their assets or avoided paying taxes.
But the company, Wintris Inc., lost millions of dollars as a result of the 2008 financial crash, which crippled Iceland, and the company is claiming about $4.2 million from three failed Icelandic banks. As prime minister since 2013, Mr. Gunnlaugsson was involved in reaching a deal for the banks’ claimants, so he is now being accused of a conflict of interest.
The Panama Papers are the biggest leak in history, containing 2.6 terrabytes of data and implicating 72 current or former heads of state. All of the leaked information may not be released, but don’t expect Gunnlaugsson to be the last person to face repercussions.
—Posted by Eric OrtizWait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.