This World Leader Just Resigned Over The Panama Papers Document Leak

Photo: Arnaldur Halldorsson/ Bloomberg/ Getty Images.
Iceland’s prime minister resigned under intense political pressure two days after a massive document leak known as the Panama Papers exposed offshore financial dealings by him and his wife.

Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson announced the news on Icelandic broadcaster RUV, according to The Associated Press. Johannsson will reportedly be stepping in for Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.

The Sunday document dump by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists sparked protests outside the Parliament building by thousands of Icelanders.

Gunnlaugsson is the first politician to step down in the wake of the revelations, which exposed tax avoidance strategies of politicians and other wealthy individuals all over the world. The more than 11 million documents, which date back four decades, were property of a Panamanian law firm.

Gunnlaugsson is accused of concealing millions of dollars of assets in an offshore company called Wintris. According to the BBC, he bought the company in 2007 but did not declare an interest in it when entering Parliament in 2009. He has denied any wrongdoing by him or his wife.

Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has not yet confirmed that he will accept his resignation, and has said he will consult with other party leaders before agreeing to end the current coalition government.

While Gunnlaugsson is the first major political casualty of the data dump, he may not be the last. There are links to 12 former or current heads of state in the data, according to the BBC, as well as a suspected money-laundering ring involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.