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Iceland PM quits in Panama Papers scandal

People demonstrate against Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson in Reykjavik, Iceland April 5, 2016. Photo: Reuters

REYKJAVIK, (AFP): Iceland’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday, becoming the first political victim of a mushrooming worldwide scandal over hidden offshore financial dealings exposed in the so-called Panama Papers.

Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was the biggest casualty of a worldwide media probe into 11.5 million leaked documents that purportedly reveal the offshore financial activities of 140 political figures, including 12 current or former heads of state.

“The prime minister told (his party’s) parliamentary group meeting that he would step down as prime minister and I will take over,” the Progressive Party’s deputy leader Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told a live broadcast.

A series of other leaders and stars fingered in the leaked papers have hit back at the allegations, denying any wrongdoing despite the international furore.

Those named include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s associates, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s relatives, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s late father and celebrities such as Argentine footballing great Lionel Messi.

:: People demonstrate against Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson in Reykjavik, Iceland April 5, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

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