B.S. Yeddyurappa (pictured here), chief minister of Karnataka state in India, stepped down from his position yesterday, as a result of pressure by the leadership of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in the country at the national level.
Last Wednesday, a report by an anti-corruption panel associated him and his family with a scheme of illegal mining of iron ore in the state. Mr. Yeddyurappa has denied all accusations.
For the full story on BBC.co.uk, please click here. The photo of Mr. Yeddyurappa shown above is credited to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The former head accountant of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Branka Pavosevic, has given the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau detailed evidence of payments from a so-called black fund previously maintained by the party.
The fund is believed to have included money embezzled from public companies and institutions, and was used to pay personal expenses of government ministers and other employees. According to Pavosevic, the payments were authorized by former Minister Ivo Sanader.
For the full story on Croatiantimes.com, please click here.
The French Justice has decided to try the oil company Total and its chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, based on accusations of corruption during the United Nations Oil-for-Food program in Iraq.
Total faces charges of corruption and involvement in fraudulent activity, whereas Margerie is charged of complicity. Other 18 people will be tried as well, including former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua. The trial should take place in 2012.
For the full article on reuters.com, please click here.
The Democratic Party in Indonesia has decided to question four members about suspicions of vote-buying in last year’s party congress, in which Anas Urbaningrum (pictured here) was elected chairmen.
The accusations came from Muhammad Nazaruddin, former party treasurer. According to him, Anas’ candidacy was favored by votes bought with money embezzled from several government projects and institutions, such as the state construction company PT Adhi Karya.
He further claimed that Anas’ campaign team distributed $10,000 to $40,000 to each member of the party’s district executive board, in order to pursuade them to vote for him. The accusations were corroborated by the testimony of drivers who had delivered the bribes. They also mentioned which party members had ordered the payments.
Nazaruddin is currently under investigation for bribery and fraud in contracting procedures for the construction of the athlete’s village in Palembang, South Sumatra.
For the full story on The Jakarta Post, please click here. The photo of Anas Urbaningrum was taken from the website skalanews.com.
Hosni Mubarak (pictured here), Egypt’s ex-president who was forced out of office last February after massive protests against his government, appeared today before court for the first day of trial on charges of corruption and conspiracy to kill a mass of protesters.
Mubarak is accused of abusing office to acquire property for himself and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who are also being tried. The charges against him also include natural gas sales at below-market prices to Israel. He denied all accusations.
The trial was adjourned until August 15th, and Mubarak will remain in custody in a hospital outside of Cairo until then.
For the full story on bloomberg.com, please click here. The photo of Mr. Mubarak during the trial is credited to Al Jazeera.
The controversial Lokpal Bill, which proposes the creation of an Ombudsman Office in India, has been introduced in Parliament today, amid protests from anti-corruption activists and the opposition party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
Civil society representatives have expressed their discontent with the bill due to the fact that it excludes several high level authorities from the Ombudsman investigative jurisdiction, among which the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament and the Judiciary. They claim that the agency, as proposed in the bill, would not be strong enough to effectively fight corruption in the country.
Led by Ghandian Anna Hazare, civil society activists burned copies of the bill in several places in New Delhi and its surroundings. Hazare also urged the population to oppose the bill and create more pressure on the government in favor of a tougher law.
For the full article on Voice of America, please click here. The picture shown above is also featured in the article.
At a meeting at the Makeni City Hall last Tuesday, the Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) North, Patrick Sandi, attempted to sensitize the public, including city officials, about the anti-corruption efforts implemented in Sierra Leone.
He also called attention to corrupt practices that have been reported about the Metropolitan Police and Waste Management Division of the Makeni City Council. Additionally, Mr. Sandi talked about the Anti-Corruption Act from 2008, and mentioned some of the offenses and punishments foreseen in that piece of legislation.
Also present in the meeting, the District Coordinator, Bombali Mr. Raymond Aleiu Kamara, said that the meeting aimed at encouraging society and public employees to support the fight against corruption, and stressed that it is a fight for all and should not just be left in the hands of the Commission alone.
For the full article on Sierra Express Media, please click here. The picture shown above is also featured in the article.
Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has declared that the Nigerian House of Representatives (pictured here) will pass an asset forfeiture bill in the coming month.
According to him, the bill intends to prevent money acquired by public officials through corrupt practices to leave the country.
Tambuwal also urged developed countries to stop harboring money obtained illegally in developing countries.
For the full article on Daily Trust, please click here. The picture portrayed above was published on latestnewsinnigeria.com.
Ukraine has recently passed a series of laws to simplify business registration procedures in the country. The new regulations are expected to curb corruption by state registrars.
The new measures include an electronic registration systems for legal entities and entrepreneurs, which was designed to make the registration process more transparency and reduce direct contact between applicants and potential corrupt officials.
Overall, the changes to modernize adminstrative procedures aim at further improving the business environment and investment climate in the country.
For the full article on Kyivpost.com, please click here. The picture above is also featured in the article.
Last Friday (August 5th) the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) met to evaluate the Rapid Results Initiative, which represents the initial implementation phase of the National Strategy to Fight Corruption in Cameroon.
The Initiative was launched on April 8th, 2011 and first applied in the sectors of Public Health, Public Works and Contracts, Civil Society and Mines and Extractive Industries. Representatives of governmental bodies presented the measures taken in their respective sectors and the results obtained so far.
Dr. Loudang Marlise, head of the Anti-Corruption Unit in the Ministry of Public Health, claimed that measures to educate and sensitize the public in five pilot hospitals of Yaounde, combined with incentives to the staff and a general zero tolerance policy, have contributed to reduce acts of corruption in the sector.
Jean-Jacques Ndoudoumou, general manager of the Public Contracts Regulatory Body, highlighted achievements in public contracting, such as integrity pacts, mechanisms for denouncing corruption in five ministries, and the suspension of contractors involved in irregularities.
In the meeting there were also recommendations for the extension of this initiative to other ministries and government institutions.
For the full article in the Cameroon Tribune, please click here.
Eminent lawyer Prashanth Bhushan (pictured here) delivered a lecture entitled Role of civil society in the fight against corruption, during an event in honour of late journalist Narendran, and called attention to the need for a constitutional amendment institutionalizing civil society’s participation in anti-corruption policy-making in India.
Bhushan referred to the joint drafting committee for the Lokpal Bill (Ombudsman Bill) as a recent example of civil society’s involvement in anti-corruption efforts, but also expressed his criticism on the outcome of the process, highlighting that the bill proposed by the government does not take into account civil society’s demands on the matter and envisions a very weak anti-corruption body.
For the full story in The Hindu, please click here. The picture of Mr. Bhushan portrayed above is also featured in the article.
Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, had her trial adjourned until Monday in order to allow her more time to read the evidence against her. Ms. Tymoshenko is accused of abuse of power during her time in office, which she claims is simply summary justice on the part of her arch-rive Viktor Yannukovych.
The allegations, which stem from a 2009 deal made with Russian PM Putin to buy gas from Russia, carry a 7-10 year prison sentence, making Ms. Tymoshenko’s eligibility to run in parliamentary polls next year and the Presidental elections in 2015 questionable.
For the original article from Yahoo! news, please click here. Please note that the photo of Ms. Tymoshenko also comes fro the Yahoo! site and is credited to the Associated Foreign Press.
A recent poll by the polling institute STEM found that 83 percent of Czechs agreed with the view that most civil servants could be bribed, while 93 percent believe that corruption among politicians and civil servants is a problem for the country and 77 believing that this type of corruption was higher in the Czech Republic than in Western European countries.
The poll continued by saying that about 25 percent of Czechs felt that the fight against corruption, embezzlement, and thievery has improved. However, the negative feelings about the state of corruption in the country held firm across various ages, levels of education, and sex.
For the original article from the Prague Monitor (in English), please click here. Please note that the picture of the Czech flag is from Global Security.org, found here.
Indian civil society and anti-corruption activist, Anna Hazare (pictured here), is meeting with the Indian parties in attempt to put more pressure on them in order to pass his preferred version of the Ombudsman bill that is meant to prevent corruption amongst politicians, which the ruling government has criticized as impractical.
Mr. Hazare has already met with leaders from the BJP and a minister of the state of Bihar, and hopes to meet with the Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday, when the government plans on having a meeting with opposition parties to discuss the Ombudsman bill.
The opposition BJP has not yet decided whether they would attend the meeting or not nor have they decided upon whether they will back the government’s version of the bill, saying that they would need to read the bill first and then discuss it in Parliament first.
For the original article from Indiareport.com, please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Harare also comes from the Indiareport.com article, but is not credited.
Romanian MEP, Adrian Severin (pictured here), no longer has his immunity from the European Parliament (EP) and will face an investigation into claims of corruption in his native Romania. Mr. Severin is accused of accepting 100,000 euros (~$145,000) in order to intervene into a European directive in dealing with bankruptcy.
The lifting of immunity came after a report by the EU rapporteur Francesco Enrico Speroni was approved by the Juridical Affairs Committe on June 23rd. The case has thus been referred to Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA).
The Romanian Academic Society’s own Alina Mungiu-Pippidi spoke to SETimes.com about the incident, concluding that Romania, in its turn, due to its corruption problems, has developed an anti-corruption mechanism over the last years with clearer laws and rules. On the other hand, Adrian Severin represents Romania in the EP and should be investigated by the country’s authorities.
For the full article from SETimes.com, please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Severin is also from the SETimes article is credited to Reuters.
The Association of Ukrainian Cities (logo pictured here) announced that the Seventh Ukrainian Municipal Forum started yesterday and will end tomorrow in the city of Illichivsk (Odessa Oblast), with the goal of collecting municipal issues in order to present them to the various state executives at the end of the forum.
The agenda for the forum included legal support for local government operations in Ukraine, issues that local territorial communities face in the areas of housing and utilities, and issues related to budetary support for local self-governance and threats and opportunities.
For the original news release, please see the Association of Ukrainian Cities’ website provided above.
Lothar Bisky (pictured here), the President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, said that the EU should take a firmer stance against corruption and organized crime in the Balkans at the EU-Balkans Strategic Partnership Conference, which was organized by leftist parties in the EU.
While attendees also railed against the EU’s neo-liberal economic policies and discussed the Left’s anti-war stance in the Balkans during the 1990s, focus was given towards both the EU taking a firmer stand with the further EU accession of Balkan countries and towards those Balkan countries also taking a tough stand towards the EU concerning neo-liberal economic policy.
The President of the Croatian Green Party, Aljoša Babić, for example, repeated that the rule of law and the fight against organized crime should be given special attention by the EU when drawing up further accession treaties.
For the original article from neurope.eu, please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Bisky comes from Deutschlandradio Kultur, found here.
Romania’s President, Traian Basescu (pictured here), said that he would move on pushing a draft of a new constitution that removed the presumed innocence for assets, a method supported by some in the fight against corruption, but which was ruled to be unconstitutional by an advisory ruling by the Romanian Constitutional Court.
On June 17th, the Romanian Constitutional Court ruled that the draft constitution violated the fundamental principle of innocent-until-proven-guilty by forcing defendants to justify and explain how they came into possession of any given asset. While the ruling was only advisory in nature, Razvan Mihalascu, a political correspondent in Romania, argued that moral damage done to the draft constitution after the Court’s ruling will make it more difficult to pass.
Various political commentators, the American Embassy in Bucharest, and the Secretary General of the National Agency for Integrity (ANI), Horia Georgescu, have come out in support of the draft constitution.
For the original article from SETimes.com, please click here. Please note that the Photo of President Basescu is from Reuters and is also from the SETimes article.
Earlier this month, a campaign called Make Aid Transparent was launched by a global coalition of 40 civil society groups, 20 of which are from developing countries, aiming to encourage donor countries to make their aid donations transparent, according to the petition, in order to help save lives, reduce corruption and waste and deliver lasting positive change in the world’s poorest countries.
Along with the petition (found at the link above), a short 3-minute video describes the purpose of the campaign. The campaign went online on June 8th and was formally launched the following day at an event in London.
For the original press release from the Access to Information Programme, which also has a list of participating organizations, please click here.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief spokesman, Waheed Omer, told Reuters that Abdul Qadir Fitrat (pictured here) was on the attorney general’s list of people to prosecture after the bank that Mr. Fitrat was the governor of, Kabul Bank, needed to be bailed by the Afghan Central Bank to the tune of $820 million.
For his part, Mr. Fitrat, who has since fled to the United States and has resigned from his position, said that he had resigned and feld to the US for fear of his life as he was involved in the investigation into what happened to the bank that led to the crisis and the bailout by the Afghan Central Bank.
Western officials have said that the problems at the bank were a classic ponzi scheme, with bad loans, corruption, and mismanagement being the source of its problems.
For the original article from CNBC.com, please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Fitrat comes from Outlookafghanistan.net and is unaccredited.
The senior leader of India’s BJP, Ananth Kumar (pictured here), lashed out again at various Indian politicians such as Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh for either being patrons of corruption (Singh) or sources of inspiration for corruption (Gandhi).
Mr. Kumar alleged that the current government, led by the Congress Party, was turning more autocratic, was corrupt, and was not doing enough to combat price inflation. This comes at a time when India is still reeling over the 2G Broadband scandal (see the story on June 10th for more info on this).
For the original article from Outlookindia.com, please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Kumar comes from Indiatoday.
Łukasz Piszczek (pictured here), who currently plays for German League champions Borussia Dortmund, was sentenced to one year in prison, a three-year suspension, a fine of approximately $36,300, and has to pay back the $17,500 that he earned for qualifying for the UEFA Cup for fixing matches in the Polish league.
Along with Mr. Piszczek, 10 others were sentenced in the Wroclaw district court for fixing a match between Zagłębie Lubin and Cracovia, which resulted in the latter to advace to the UEFA Cup.
For the original article from a Polish news site (in English), please click here. Please note that the photo of Mr. Piszczek comes from fupa.net and is credited to picture-alliance.
The Kosovoar television program Justice in Kosovo aired a show last Sunday where crime among the Kosovar Police was investigated, with Petrit Kryeziu interviewing the parties involved.
The program looks at a case where firearms are involved and one person is injured in a scuffle. The perpetrator is aided in his escape by a member of the Special Unit of the Kosovar Police, one Orhan Smani, who has a history of runnings-in with the law.
For the full article from the program’s website, please see the link above. Please note that the photo of the Kosovar police car comes from a travel blog, found here.
3 MPs from the Bulgarian nationalist party Ataka (pictured here) denied that they had received funding from ruling center-right party, GERB, in exchange for abandoning their former party. The 3 Bulgarian MPs left the Ataka party in mid-May in protest over Ataka activists and MPs clashing with Muslims who were praying in a Sofia Mosque.
After they left the party, accusations began to fly, starting with Volen Siderov, the Ataka party leader, that GERB had used state money that was slated to be given to subsidize Ataka for their 2009 electoral achievements. While the three MPs claimed that they and other MPs were made dependent upon the various political parties through various means, other Bulgarian parties joined the chorus questioning the system of party finance in Bulgaria.
GERB party officials have thus far denied the allegations but have neither accepted nor rejected calls for a formal check into the scandal.
For theoriginal story from Novinite.com, please click here. Please note that the photo also comes courtesy of the Novinite.com article and is credited to BGNES.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi of Uganda was cleared yesterday of charges of conflict of interest stemming from the purchase of a communications system by the Inspector General of the Government. A May 2010 Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had recommended his prosecution in a general report for a deal amounting to about $5 million that was awarded to Balton (U) Ltd. by a security sub-committee.
The IGG report, written by Raphael Baku, states that No case has been established for prosecution or disciplinary action against any of the people involved in the procurement of the Security Communication System, contrary to the Parliamentary PAC report.
For the original in-depth article, please see allafrica.com’s site here. Please note that the photo of PM Mbabazi comes from a Ugandan news and information site, which can be found here.