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It’s Black Report day!

That’s right, dear readers: in about 30 minutes the press conference marking the official release of the Black Report, a.k.a. “The Fact-Finding Report of the Althingi Special Investigation Commission” will commence.

You can believe that the entire Icelandic nation is waiting with bated breath. As many of you will know, the report has been delayed several times and is now appearing six months after the planned release date. The head of the investigating committee has famously said the he was on the verge of tears many times while preparing the report and also that “no committee in the nation’s history has ever had to deliver such bad news to the nation.”

With that kind of preamble, you can believe we’re stoked!

The Prime Minister has urged employers to give staff “space” so they can watch the press conference and the subsequent comments by MPs.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that the contents of the report will dominate the discussion here in the next few days and even [gulp!] weeks.

For anyone who cares to watch, the press conference will be broadcast live on althingi.is and a summary and excerpts in English will be available at sic.althingi.is at the same time.

Meanwhile, I’ll be updating on Twitter. Those updates will also be available in the Twitter widget in the sidebar of this blog.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I must go get the popcorn ready.

UPDATE: The report is published!! You can read it here [provided you read Icelandic — although it seems some sections are in English]. [NB it’s having severe loading problems at the moment.]

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  • Rik Hardy April 12, 2010, 2:52 pm

    This mess has been a state emergency since October 2008 – albeit a very slow-moving and tranquil emergency; a train crash in slow-motion as the American equivalent was described the other day.
    Far be it from me to take away the rights of an individual to a fair trial, but in the present Icelandic situation, I am putting forward the suggestion that today’s Report is, in and of itself, a detailed and well-founded judgement of the Icelandic nation upon a class of arrogant thieves who betrayed the country. After a year and a half of experience, hindsight and several delays, this could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered a hasty judgement.
    The reason I raise this issue is a fear that the coming twenty years will see lawyers getting rich at our expense, while a string of endless appeals, rejections, re-appeals and re-rejections will ensure that NO ONE is brought to justice for their criminal activity.
    I am particularly afraid that, entirely due to good-old habit, there are too many people in the present government who think that the law as it stands is the only way to deal with any situation which may arise. To take an extreme example: Those Germans who thought that Hitler needed to be stopped in 1933 could only have stopped him by following his example and ignoring the law as it stood. That is how he prospered. He appointed himself Chancellor by criminal means, but the law as it stood would not have allowed ordinary Germans to stop him without resorting to his own tactics and ignoring those laws too.
    The present Report was a 2,000-page condemnation of a corrupt system. Now you tell me which Supreme Court is going to come up with another 2,000-page document which will do a better job in less than twenty years…
    My suggestion is that an emergency law be passed TOMORROW, which will severely curtail the lengths to which cunning legal mercenaries may go in order to delay the course of justice until the current “judgement” has become obsolete.
    Icelanders will decide, but unless an emergency like this is confronted head-on with appropriate emergency laws, we will be in the same mess again after five years and entirely at the mercy of whatever the international community decides to do with us.
    This is SERIOUS, dear Icelanders, and we cannot afford to imagine that if nothing is done – and we have seen nothing done on many occasions before – somehow the people who are hoping for justice in this matter will simply go away.