Iceland president says Panama Papers leak won't affect re-election

Iceland's president said Saturday his plans to run for a new term in office were not affected by reports that his parents-in-law had a company in a Caribbean tax haven.

The so-called Panama Papers leak suggested that the parents of President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson's wife Dorrit Moussaief had an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands from 1999 to 2005, channelling funds from a jewellery firm, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Icelandic news site Kjarninn.

The initial reports said the offshore company, Lasca Finance Limited, was set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Earlier this week, other leaked data linked the president's wife to another offshore company called Jaywick Properties.

Grimsson told reporters Saturday that mention of his wife's name in the leaked data was because of "actions her parents did connected to inheritance matters many years ago about what would happen when they were both deceased," broadcaster RUV reported.

The president said he had misunderstood a question when interviewed by CNN last month whether he, his wife or her family would be mentioned in the Panama Papers.

Grimsson said that when he answered no, he was "not in any way replying on behalf of Dorrit's parents or other relatives of hers."

"When I was asked about my family, I understood it to refer to my family in Iceland and Dorrit," he told a news conference at his official residence.

Last month, premier Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after leaked data suggested he and his wife had a company in the British Virgin Islands.

Gunnlaugsson denied any wrongdoing, but the revelations triggered public protests and calls for early parliamentary elections.

The  centre-right government later said it would move the polls forward instead of holding them in April 2017 as scheduled. The protests and political uncertainty were cited by Grimsson when he recently announced he would run for a sixth term in June. In his New Year's speech, the 72-year-old said he would not seek a new term.

Last update: Sat, 07/05/2016 - 21:00

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