5 Mar 2012

Ex Icelandic PM charged over 2008 crisis

1:19 pm on 5 March 2012

Former prime minister Geir Haarde of Iceland is facing trial as the first national leader criminally charged over the 2008 financial crisis.

Many Icelanders lost their jobs and homes when the country's main commercial bank collapsed, sending inflation soaring and the currency into a nosedive.

Mr Haarde is accused of negligence in failing to prevent financial implosion.

He has rejected the charges, calling them "political persecution".

A wave of public protests forced Mr Haarde out of government in 2009 in the aftermath of the crisis as unemployment and inflation skyrocketed.