#PanamaPapers: Iceland finance minister says won't resign over leaks
The statement comes a week after Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned as PM over the leaked documents.
LONDON - Iceland's Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said on Tuesday he would not resign over the Panama Papers leaks, which showed he once had a stake in an offshore investment firm in the Seychelles.
Asked by reporters in London whether he would quit, Benediktsson answered: "No".
The statement came a week after Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned as prime minister over the leaked documents which showed his wife owned an offshore company that held debt from failed Icelandic banks.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which saw the leaked papers from Panamanian lawyers Mossack Fonseca, said they showed Benediktsson and two Icelandic businessmen had power of attorney over a shell company called Falson & Co. created in 2005 in the Seychelles.
The Consortium reported that Benediktsson had confirmed he owned a third of the company and had said it was set up for investing in four apartments in a building which was being built in Dubai, but that the company had been wound down in 2009.
The wider revelations have triggered a political maelstrom in Iceland, further undermining confidence in its political and financial elite. A poll last week showed 69 percent of respondents wanted Benediktsson to resign.
PANAMANIAN AUTHORITIES RAID HQ OF MOSSACK FONSECA
Panamanian authorities have raided the global headquarters of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of a massive documents leak scandal.
The attorney general's office says the objective of the raid, which started yesterday and is continuing today, is to look for documents related to news reports establishing the possible use of the firm for illegal activities.
The Panama leak scandal has implicated several world leaders and exposed the dark world of offshore companies.
Mossack Fonseca says it's cooperating with the authorities in the investigation.
The information contained in the papers alleges the firm may have helped people around the globe set up shell companies and offshore accounts.
Earlier, founding partner Ramon Fonseca said the company had broken no laws, destroyed no documents, and all its operations were legal.
Governments across the world have begun investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful after the leak of more than 11.5 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, from the law firm that span four decades.
The papers have revealed financial arrangements of prominent figures, including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain and Pakistan and of China's President Xi Jinping, and the president of Ukraine.