Geir Haarde
Geir Haarde was in charge of Iceland ahead of and during the global financial crisis (Reuters)

Iceland's former prime minister has pleaded not guilty to charges of negligence during the 2008 financial crisis.

Geir Haarde, who was in charge of Iceland at the time of the global crash and governed from 2006 to 2009, appeared at the special Landsdomur court which hears charges against government ministers.

He was answering accusations of gross negligence over his alleged failing to properly prepare the country for the looming crash, failing to control the banks, and not keeping his own government ministers well enough informed about the scale of the financial system in proportion to Iceland's economy.

Three of Iceland's main banks, laden with debts built up ahead of the crash, collapsed.

The country needed a US$4.6bn (£2.9bn) bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark to revive its economy.