Azerbaijani Official in Ministry of Education Detained on Corruption Charges

The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General, via the Anti-Corruption Department, launched an investigation into a Ministry of Education (building pictured here) official concerning corruption charges and arrested several employees, including one employee named Orkhan Kerimov.

For the original article from Trend.az, please click here.

Please note that the photo of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Education also comes from the Trend.az news article.

Former Macedonian Interior Miniter Held for Abuse of Office

A former Macedonian Interior Minister, Ljube Boskoski (pictured here), was arrested on Monday after allegedly being found with a revolver and 100,000 in cash in a bag in his car. A court in Skopje ruled that Mr. Boskoski would be held for 30 days pending a trial on suspicion that he unlawfully financed a political campaign and abused his position as party leader.

Mr. Boskoski was the Interior Minister between 1998 and 2002 and is currently heading the United for Macedonia party, although the party failed to win even one seat in Sunday’s parliamentary election.

For the original story from Taiwannews.com, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Boskoski comes from Sense-agency.com and is unattributed.

British Embassy Official Allowed Turned a Blind Eye to Fraudulent Albanian Applications

Mark Griffith (pictured here), a British diplomat, allowed more than 60 Albanians to enter the UK on fraudulent visas in connection with Samuel Fongho, a recruitment consultant. While Mr. Fongho was said to have charged up to 7,122 pounds (nearly $11,700) per application, it is not clear if Mr. Griffith profited as well.

Mr. Griffith seemingly processed visa applications for Albanians to live and work in home care centers across the UK, even though glaring mistakes were obvious in the applications. After 4 years, foreigners are able to apply for permanent residency permits, which are almost always approved.

For the more in-depth article from The Daily Mail, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Griffith comes from The Daily Mail article.

the Eu Announces the Creation of an Anti-Corruption Reporting Mechanism

The EU’s Commission for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, announced that the EU would unveil a new anti-corruption reporting mechanism in order to identify failures and vulnerabilities across the 27 EU member states. A report will also be released by the Commission every two years, starting in 2013.

Ms. Malmström said that, While there are quite sophisticated legal frameworks at international and European level, we have seen that implementation among EU member states is very uneven. It is clear to me that there is not enough determination amongst politicians and decision-makers to fight this crime.

This comes at the same time that political pressure for accession to the Schengen Zone to be delayed for Romania and Bulgaria, due to their struggles in combating corruption and organized crime.

For the original article from Euractiv, please click here.

Please note that the photo also comes courtesy of the Euractiv article.

Former Kazakh Ambassador Accuses Regime of Funneling Money to Us Congress

Rakhat Aliyev (pictured here), the former Kazakh Ambassador to Austria and former son-in-law to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, recently alleged that Nazarbayev has been secretly and illegally been funneling money to various members of the US Congress – so-called group of friends of Kazakhstan.

Mr. Aliyev recently had a falling out with President Nazarbayev and is currently seeking asylum in Austria.

The Projoct on Government Oversight (POGO), on June 2nd, wrote a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the claims alleged by Mr. Aliyev after they produced a letter supposedly written by the Kazakh Ambassador to the USA, Erlan Idrissov (who has written his own Op-Ed in the New York Times in responde to the allegations), telling President Nazarbayev about the so-called group of Congressmen and their staff.

POGO says that the allegations are at least worth investigating even though Kazakh officials have stated that the letter is a forgery.

For the original article from Eurasianet.org, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Aliyev comes courtesy of the Eurasianet.org article and is accredited to the OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev.

Corruption Appears to Be Rife in Fifa

While FIFA’s Sepp Blatter (pictured here) was cleared of allegations of corruption, 2 FIFA officials, Mohamed bin Hamman (President of the Asian Football Confederation) and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, were temporarily suspended barring further investigation into allegations of corruption.

Mr. Hamman and Mr. Warner are accuseed of bribing 25 Caribbean delegates with $40,000 to support Mr. Hamman’s upcoming bid for the FIFA Presidency. However, Mr. Warner levelled allegations at other FIFA members and alleged that Qatar had paid for its 2022 World Cup bid.

For the full story, please see Deutsche Welle’s article (in English) here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Blatter comes from Deutsche Welle’s article.

House of Lords Member Jailed for Expense Fraud

A Conservative Party legislator, John Taylor (pictured here), was sentenced to 12 months of prison time for fraudulently filing expense claims; Mr. Taylor claimed 11,000 pounds ($18,000) in expenses for commuting from his Oxford home 90km outside of London when in fact he lived in London.

The reputation of Britain’s government has taken a hit since a 2009 expense check scandal, with a total of 392 current and former legislators being ordered to repay 1.12 million pounds in expenses.

For the original article from the Kansas City Star, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Taylor comes from The Mirror’s website.

Uk Corruption Watchdog Investigates Eads

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into the European defense group EADS bribed Saudi officials in order to win a $3.3 billion communications contract for GPT Special Project Management, owned by EADS, to provide communications and intranet services for Saudi National Guard.

In July, tough new anti-corruption laws in the UK will be enacted that place no limit on the fine for not putting into place adequate procedures to limit corruption, a current worry for any operation with interests in the UK.

For the original story that also discusses the BAE systems case in the UK and US, please see CNBC’s article here.

Azerbaijan Continues Anti-Corruption Policy

Ali Ahmadov (pictured here), the Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party, announced today that Azerbaijan will continue with its anti-corruption policy.

Secretary Ahmadov went on to say that Measures to combat corruption have been strengthened by administrative forms and methods, as well as by improving the legislation work is carried out to prevent similar negative cases and that was evidence that the government intended to combat corruption in the country.

For the original article from Trend.az.news, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Secretary Ahmadov also comes from the Trend.az news story.

Norad and Hsog Release New Anti-Corruption Report

An excerpt from the report: Why, despite unprecedented investment in anticorruption in the last fifteen years, since the implementation of global monitoring instruments and global legislation, have so few countries managed to register progress?

This new report commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to the Hertie School of Governance argues that conceptual flaws, imprecise measurement instruments and inadequate strategies are to blame. But it also argues that the quest for public integrity is a political one, between predatory elites in a society and its losers, fought primarily on domestic playgrounds.

As such, the donor community can play only a limited part and its needs to play this part strategically in order to create results. Based on new statistical evidence, the report recommends cash-on-delivery/selectivity approaches for anticorruption assistance. Effective and sustainable policies for good governance need to diminish the political and material resources of corruption and build normative constraints in the form of domestic collective action. Most of the current anticorruption strategies, on the contrary, focus on increasing legal constraints, which often fail because most interventions are localized in societies that lack the rule of law.

For the full report, please see the Reports section on the right side of the home page.

Trial Against Tunisia’s Former President Begins

The trial against Tunisia’s ousted former President, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali (pictured here along with his wife), began while he was in exile in Saudi Arabia on Monday in the capital, Tunis. While Tunisian authorities requested that Saudi authorities extradite the former President, they did not respond to the request.

Mr. Ben Ali is currently implicated in 93 civil cases and another 182 cases that fall under the military’s jurisdiction, including charges of money laundering, drug trafficking, and embezzlement after around $27 million in jewels were discovered in two palaces of his outside of Tunis once he fled to Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Ben Ali is currently being defended by 5 public defenders appointed by the court, as Mr. Ben Ali’s French lawyer is not eligible to represent him, as foreigners are not allowed to defend clients in Tunisia.

For the more in-depth story from the Tripoli Post, please click here. Please also note that the photo of Mr. Ben Ali and his wife come from the Tripoli Post’s original article.

Do Soft Prison Sentences for Belarussian Show Lukashenko’s Vulnerability?

A Belarussian court handed suspended sentences to two former Presidential candidates on Friday for inciting riots after last year’s not-so-free-and-fair elections in Europe’s last dictatorship. Vladimir Neklyayev and Vitaly Rymashevsky were each given two-year sentences that were then suspended, hinting at the fact that the regime of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko may be sensitive to Western criticism.

While Prosecutors requested that Messers. Neklyayev and Rymashevsky actually service prison time, the court did no abide by their request, even after having handed down a 5-year term to Andrei Sannikov just last week – sparking rumors of sensitivity to Western pressure.

For the full article from Middletownjournal.com, please click here.

German Court Sentences Croat for Fixing Soccer Matches

Ante Sapina (pictured here), a German-Croat, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years of prison for fixing soccer matches throughout Europe, from lower division domestic leagues all the way to the Champions League and even World Cup Qualifying matches. Together with an accomplice, Marijo Cvrtak, Mr. Sapina amassed one of the largest soccer-fixing enterprises in recent history.

Messers. Sapin and Cvrtak bribed referees, individual players, and even entire teams in order to get the results that they desired, calling into question many results in European soccer over the past few years.

For more information, please see articles by Deutsche Welle (in English) and Taiwannews.com.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Sapina comes courtesy of Deutsche Welle.

Serbia Must Fight Crime and Corruption to Join Eu – Barroso

Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission (pictured here – left), met with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic (also pictured here – right) to discuss Serbia’s future integration into the European Union, saying that Serbia needed to continue fighting organized crime and corruption as part of ongoing judicial reforms.

Mr. Barroso said that Time is running out and the key is in the hands of Serbia. The criteria must be met, the judicial reform, fight against organized crime and corruption to attain the goal,…Of key importance is cooperation with The Hague Tribunal and we expect that Serbia will do everything it can with respect to this.

The government of Prime Minister Cvetkovic has itself a goal of attaining EU Candidate status by the end of the year, or, at the very least, by the time the PMs mandate runs out in a year.

For the full article from Xinhuanet.com, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Barroso and PM Cvetkovic comes courtesy of Xinhuanet.

Romania Needs to Continue Fighting Corruption to Join Schengen Area

German State Secretary for the Interior Ministry, Ole Schröder (pictured here), commented last week on Romania’s chances to join the Schengen area in October, saying that Romania needed to continue fighting organized crime and corruption.

Mr. Schröder furthermore said that Romania’s pursuance of corruption among customs officials was a step in the right direction and that a sentence was sorely needed in the case.

Even if Romania fulfilled all of the technical requirements to join the area, widespread corruption in the country would make many countries hesitant in extending freedom of movement via accession to the Schengen Agreement.

For the original article from Hotnews.ro, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Schröder comes courtesy of the Hamburger Abendblatt (article in German).

Indian Executives Involved in Telecom Fraud Denied Bail

5 of the top Indian executives arrested in connection with the fraudulent 2008 selling of telecom licenses were denied bail earlier today because, according to the Indian court, the accused may interfere with the process of justice by tampering with the evidence.

The court also weighed the gravity of the crimes, saying that taking into account the gravity of the accusations warranted the five high-profile defendants remaining in jail for the time being.

Along with the 5 executives, including Gautam Doshi (Reliance Telecom Managing Director – pictured here), 8 others were entangled in the corruption scandal that has caused so much trouble for the Congress-led government, including the former telecom minister, A. Raja.

For the original article from Yahoo!.com, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Doshi comes from the AFP.

Anti-Corruption Prosecutors Raid Customs Officials, Ministry Official, and Senator

Anti-corruption prosecutors in Romania raided the homes of 50 customs officials, the Interior Ministry Secretary General – Laurentiu Mironescu (pictured here) -, and Senator Mircea Banias on suspicion of smuggling gasoline through the Black Sea port of Constanta.

Tax evasion in the gasoline smuggling scandal has cost the state an estimated 1 million euros (~$1.42 million), with Mr. Mironescu being fired from the ministry, while the customs officials’ homes were raided on suspicion of tax evasion.

Romanian authorities have launched a crackdown this year on customs officials and border patrol agents, with roughly 180 people having been arrested so far.

For the original article from Boston.com, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Mironescu comes from his official page from the Romanian parliament, found here (available in English, French, and Romanian).

Turkish President Calls on Politicians to Stand Against Blackmail

Turkish President Abdullah Gül called on all politicians to stand against the use of blackmail in light of a video blackmail scandal involving the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

President Gül, before receiving the Ambassadors from Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Honduras, said that “Such blackmail is both ugly and dangerous. It may happen to one person today and to others tomorrow. Prosecutors and judicial bodies should investigate closely these incidents and unravel the groups that are behind them”.

MHP has been rocked lately by a scandal involving sex tapes, whereby a website threatens to release the videos online if politicians refuse to resign. 4 senior-level MHP politicians have already resigned, with an additional 6 MHP politicians having done the same.

The group, which calls itself Farklı Ülkücülük (Different Idealism), has threatened to continue unless the party’s leader also resigns.

For the original article from Todayszaman.com, please click here.

Please note that the picture of President Gül comes from Todayszaman.com’s article.

Valencian Court to Try Spanish Politicians

Spain’s infamous Gürtel case, involving a corruption ring led by Francisco Correa (pictured here) and Pablo Crespo that benefitted Popular Party (PP) politicians for the awarding of contracts, will now at least in part be tried in Valencia rather than in Madrid.

The case, which dates back to events that occurred as far back as 2006, involves corruption, illegal campaign financing, bribery, and public bid-rigging, all of which was set to benefit PP politicians and companies in the private sector.

The PP led a landslide victory over the Socialist Party of Spain (PSOE) in the elections held on Sunday.

For the original article from El País’ English-language section, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Correa comes from Spanish newspaper El Mundo, with the accompanying story in Spanish.

Chilean Prosecutors Open up Bribery Case Involving Former Argentine Minister

Chilean prosecutors have opened up a bribery case against a former Argentine minister, Ricardo Jaime (pictured here), involving Chile’s national airline LAN. The former minister was allegedly paid a bribe dating back to 2006 and 2007 in order to help with the setting up of operations in Argentina. Chile’s current President, Sebastián Piñera, was a majority share holder of LAN at the time.

Mr. Jaime was paid the sum of $1.5 million in consulting fees in the area of transport, raising suspicion from a Buenos Aires daily newspaper.

For the in-depth story from NAM news network, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Jaime comes from another article from Informajunin.com, which is accompanied by an article in Spanish.

Former Romanian Labor Minister and Mp Acquitted of Corruption Charges

A former Romanian Labor Minister, Paul Pacuraru (pictured here) – who was in office between April 2007 and September 2008 – and a former Romanian MP, Dan Ilie Morega, were acquitted of accusations of corruption stemming back to December 2008 on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had accused Mr. Morega of offering to help Mr. Pacuraru’s son win public contracts in exchange for Mr. Pacuraru appointing a specific person as the Chief Inspector of the Gorj County Labor Inspectorate.

For the original article from Mediafax, please click here.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Pacuraru is from a previous article by Mediafax and is copyrighted by the Romanian Press.

Kazakh Bank Asks Britain to Extradite Former Bank Head

Kazakh bank BTA has asked the UK to extradite its fugitive former head, Mukhtar Ablyazov (pictured here), for large-scale fraud and funneling of funds through fake companies, estimated to be $7billion.

Meanwhile, a UK court has ruled against Mr. Ablyazov’s claims that the request for extradition was politically motivated, stating that the bank has sufficient grounds to file a claim against Mr. Ablyazov.

Mr. Ablyazov was once a part of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev’s inner circle, but has since fallen from grace and fled the country in 2009.

For more information on the story, please see CNBC’s article on the matter along with an article from Tengrinews.kz.

Please note that the photo of Mr. Ablyazov comes from Tengri news and is copyright of Yaroslav Radlovsky.

Bulgaria Recalls 13 Communist-Era Ambassadors

A Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that 13 Ambassadors would be recalled for communist-era involvement in the secret service, with dismissal pending. The spokesperson, Vessela Cherneva added that a further 22 Ambassadors and permanent representatives would be recalled on June 1st.

An investigative panel concluded in December of last year that 192 diplomats had previous involvement with the secret service, causing the government to decide to recall all diplomats. Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has insisted that each case be handled on an individual basis.

For the original article from SETimes.com, please click here.

Egyptian Military Denies Plans to Pardon Mubarak

Egypt’s ruling military council denied recent rumors that they would pardon former President Hosni Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne Mubarak (pictured here) for corruption, embezzlement, and abuse of power (and, in the case of Mrs. Mubarak, abuse of postion for unlawful gain).

Both Mr. and Mrs. Mubarak have fallen ill since Mr. Mubarak’s abdication from power following his February ousting – and have not seen jail time -, furthering speculation that they are receiving special treatment from the military council.

For the original article from Yahoo!.com, please click here.

6 Pristina Municipal Officials Arrested for Abuse of Office

Six Municipal procurement and infrastructure officials were arrested in Pristina on Tuesday for suspected abuse of office in connection with the signing of an 800,000-euro project.

The police unit in Kosovo for economic crimes and corruption questioned the six suspects and detained them for 48 hours. This comes just one week after Pristina’s Mayor, Isa Mustafa (see earlier story from May 2nd), accused the police of pressuring municipal workers.

For the original story from SETimes.com, please click here.