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Interview with disgraced former PM over Panama Papers nominated for an Emmy award

By Staff

  • Storming off the set Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the former Prime Minister of Iceland refused to sit and answer accusations he had connections to an off-shore company in a tax-haven. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

An episode of the current affairs and news program Uppdrag Granskning, featuring an explosive interview with the disgraced former Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has been nominated for an Emmy award as the best current affairs episode of 2016. The explosive interview with the Icelandic PM played a key role in an exploration of the implications of the Panama Papers, which revealed the extent of tax evasion and fraud by wealthy and powerful  individuals.

Read more: One year anniversary of the interview which brought down Iceland's Prime Minister

Uppdrag Granskning was produced by the Swedish National Broadcasting Service SVT, with Icelandic investigative journalists collaborating on the coverage of Iceland. The airing of the episode by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service led to the resignation of Sigmundur Davíð, following the largest mass demonstration in Icelandic history. As many as 22,000 people gathered in downtown Reykjavík on April 4 2016.

The revelation that the Prime Minister had funds in a tax haven was followed by news that the names of several other other high-ranking politicians and powerful Icelanders were also in the Panama Papers. The President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, decided not to run for re-election after it was revealed his wife was one of those named in the leak. 

The full fall-out of the revelations is still being felt, as commentators and political analysts have argued that a major reason for the unpopularity of the current coalition government can be explained by the cloud of the Panama Papers.

Read more: Analysis: The clouds of the Panama Papers hang over new coalition government

The impact of the TV program and interview were not only due to the damning information which was revealed, but also due to the bizarre performance of the Prime Minister who switched between defensive and combative, his storming off the set as well as his return back into the room to answer questions angrily, lobbing accusations at the interviewers of concocting a fake story. 

Read more: As many as 22,000 gathered to demand resignation of PM yesterday: Largest mass protest in Icelandic history

Sigmundur Davíð has maintained that he did nothing wrong, alleging that the Panama Papers were a fake news story made up by hostile and unscrupulous journalists and part of an international conspiracy to unseat him as the Prime Minister of Iceland.

The full interview, which has been described as a "slow motion car crash", with English subtitles can be seen here. The "car crash" part of the interview begins at 4:14. 

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