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The Associated Press September 5, 2011, 7:05AM ET

Ex-Iceland PM's lawyers ask court to drop charges

Lawyers for former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde are demanding the dismissal of charges that he acted negligently during the collapse of the nation's banks.

Haarde appeared Monday before a special court, which is being convened for the first time in the nation's history to conduct a trial of charges against a government minister.

Haarde has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers are arguing that the case be dismissed on procedural grounds.

Haarde has been charged with allegedly failing to prevent the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland. The crisis sparked protests, toppled the government and brought the economy to a standstill.

The special court, the Landsdomur, has previously rejected calls for dismissal.

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