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Panama Papers scandal: Iceland premier resigns

Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has become the first political victim of Panama Papers scandal as he resigned on Tuesday.

The Panama Papers have revealed stunning details about hidden offshore financial dealings of big names across the world. "The prime minister told (his party's) parliamentary group meeting that he would step down as prime minister and I will take over," said the Progressive Party's deputy leader Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson.

Some leaders and celebrities whose names have cropped up after the leak of the papers from a Panamanian law firm have rejected the allegations, stressing that they have not committed any crime.

Those named include Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates, Chinese President Xi Jinping's relatives, FIFA's new president Gianni Infantino and stars such as Argentine footballing great Lionel Messi.

The pressure increased on Gunnlaugsson after the leaked papers showed that millions of dollars were invested by the premier and his wife in an offshore company that had stakes in three Icelandic banks that collapsed in 2008.

For his part, Gunnlaugsson denies any wrongdoing, but stepped down after many people took to the streets demanding his ouster. Gunnlaugsson's office sought to play down the decision, saying the premier had "suggested" his deputy take over "for an unspecified amount of time".

"The prime minister has not resigned and will continue to serve as chairman of the Progressive Party," it said in a statement.

The records from Panama's Mossack Fonseca law firm was obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the details were then shared with more than 100 media groups by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The first findings were made public on Sunday after a year-long probe.