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Iceland’s First Lady: ‘Never Discussed Finances with President’

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Iceland’s First Lady: ‘Never Discussed Finances with President’

Dorrit Moussaieff

Dorrit Moussaieff. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Dorrit Moussaieff, wife of President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, has released a statement in English about recent media reports that she has links to offshore accounts, revealed in the so-called Swiss Leaks—part of a leak from HSBC’s private bank in Geneva—and the Panama Papers, and widely reported on in Iceland and abroad. She states, among other things, that she has never had an account with HSBC and has never discussed her financial affairs with the president. Dorrit is a wealthy London jeweler.

According to documents released to Le Monde, Südd­euts­he Zeit­ung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and first reported by Reykjavik Media, The Guardian and others earlier this week, Dorrit used tax shelters for some of her considerable fortune. According to the reports, Dorrit is connected to at least five Swiss bank accounts through her family and to at least two offshore companies. Dorrit is also reportedly listed as one of three Moussaieff family members who jointly owned a company in the British Virgin Islands called Jaywick Properties Inc.

The statement follows earlier statements, denying any knowledge by the president of Dorrit’s financial affairs and any illegal wrongdoing by Dorrit, released by both the president and the first lady.

Ólafur Ragnar declared in an interview with CNN last month that there would be no revelations about him and his family similar to those about now former prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was forced to resign in early April after it came to light that he and his wife owned an offshore company.

Ólafur Ragnar is seeking a sixth term in office in the upcoming presidential election to be held in June.

Historian and author Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced this afternoon that he would be running for president. A poll published this morning by Fréttablaðið newspaper found that he would receive 38 percent of the vote if the election were held today while Ólafur Ragnar would receive 45 percent and author and environmentalist Andri Snær Magnason 11 percent. In his speech, Guðni said that people must be able to trust those in power, that they stand by their word and have nothing to hide.

Here is Dorrit’s statement, published on news site Vísir a short time ago:

STATEMENT

by Dorrit Moussaieff

There has been speculation and inaccurate statements and assertions made in various press articles. In order to set the record straight I wish to make the following clear:

1. I have never had a bank account with HSBC nor have I been a client of that bank.

2. Reference has been made linking me to a company called Jaywick Properties Inc. Jaywick was a company related to my parents and was wound up in 2001. I did not receive any benefit from Jaywick before or after it was wound up.

3. When I was resident in Iceland I made disclosures to the Icelandic tax authorities of my relevant interests. I also provided the Icelandic tax authorities with a copy of my tax return to the United Kingdom tax authorities.

4. I have never discussed my families' financial affairs or arrangements with my husband as these are my parents' private arrangements.

5. I am now resident in the United Kingdom where I have also made relevant disclosure to the United Kingdom tax authorities.

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