Ukrainian Government Ministers Richest in the World

Sonia Koshkina, considered to be one of Ukraine’s leading journalists, has accused the Ukrainian government of being a de facto plutocracy, with the 16-member cabinet claiming at least 5 multi-millionaires and one billionaire. While this is common knowledge in Ukraine, government officials still find ways to avoid publicly reporting all of their financial assets.

Ms. Koshkina, whose real name is Ksenia Vasilenko, who was speaking on behalf of online media site lb.ua, disclosed these details at an event in Brussels organized by the EU-Ukraine Business Council.

While Ukrainian diplomats were among those in attendance, they did not seem to be all that surprised by the disclosure, while many Western European attendants seemed to be shocked both by the information and the lack of any attempt to counter or explain those claims on the part of the Ukrainian diplomats.

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

European Parliament Opens Its Doors (Somewhat) to Olaf

The European Parliament admitted yesterday that it is within the purview of the Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) to investigate the matter of corruption among MEPs that was brought to light by The Sunday Times. However, the EP also insisted that a mandate from a national judicial authority in the absence of a European public prosecutor, which Slovenia and Austria have already begun to do.

The Conference of Presidents backed a proposal by Parliamentary President Jerzy Buzek to provide OLAF with emails from The Sunday Times journalists, detailing the ongoings between the fake lobbyists and various MEPs.

Before the meeting with the Conference of Presidents, Mr. Buzek circulated a letter suggesting possible measures to combat the consequences of disappointing behaviour on the part of some of our colleagues. He also tabled other suggestions in order to regulate outside lobbying.

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

Timeline of Mep Corruption Scandal

A timeline of the recent MEP scandal, first disclosed by The Sunday Times, can be found below. For more information on individual events, stories can be found on this site as well as Euractiv.com.

Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, Annex I, Article 2: the Members of the European Parliament shall refrain from accepting any … gift or benefit in the performance of their duties;

The aforementioned EP rule has corresponding provisions within national laws regarding incompatibilities and conflicts of interest, as well as within the Criminal Codes of EU Member States (corruption offenses, e.g. bribery or influence-peddling);

· March 20th, 2011: The Sunday Times publishes an article announcing that 3 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been caught agreeing to accept secret payments to alter European laws, following an undercover investigation by its reporters. According to the newspaper, this will trigger one of the biggest scandals in the parliament’s 53-year history;

· The 3 MEPs were: 1) Adrian Severin, Vice-President of the Socialist group in the EP and the former Romanian Deputy Prime Minister; 2) Zoran Thaler, member of the Socialist group in the EP and the former Slovenian Foreign Minister; 3) Ernst Strasser, member of the EPP Group in the EP and the former Interior Minister in Austria;

· The 3 MEPs agreed to put forward amendments to European laws at the request of several lobbyists, just as the lobbyists had written them. In return, the MEPs agreed to be paid with a yearly salary of €100,000 or with a consultancy fee (they even issued invoices or asked that money be routed through private companies, avoiding the disclosure of such an income). The “lobbyists” were undercover Sunday Times journalists;

· A few hours after, the newspaper published the article and posted video and audio recordings of the 3 MEPs negotiating and accepting the money for amendments on its website. The Austrian vice-chancellor and president of the Austrian People’s Party, Mr. Josef Proll, issued a statement where he apologized to the voters for Ernst Strasser’s unacceptable conduct and asked the MEP to immediately resign from the EP and to leave political life for good. Ernst Strasser submitted his resignation and left the party.

· March 21st, 2011: Martin Schulz, leader of the European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats group in the EP, asked Adrian Severin and Zoran Thaler to meet him in Brussels following the allegations published by the Sunday Times. Furthermore, Hannes Swoboda, Vice-President of the European socialist group in the EP, added that, after the resignation of the Austrian MEP, the expectations were clear;

· A few hours later, after the Socialist leaders’ statements during a press conference in Ljubljana, Zoran Thaler announced that he resigned from his position at the European Parliament, consenting to a thorough investigation of the circumstances of his involvement in the corruption scandal triggered by the Sunday Times’ investigation;

· Anti-corruption prosecutors in Bucharest announced that they had started criminal investigations for alleged corruption offenses committed by the Romanian MEP, Adrian Severin;

· Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament, issued a press release, expressing his disappointment and sadness by the news. Corruption cannot and will not be tolerated in the European Parliament. If the facts reported are proven, this type of behavior is a serious breach of the citizens’ trust. The EP has to react in a very serious way, stated the president of the EP.

· March 22nd, 2011: Adrian Severin emphasized during a morning press conference in Bucharest that, unlike his 2 colleagues, he would not resign from his position as Member of the European Parliament. In the meantime, the European Anti-Fraud Office announced that it had started an investigation concerning the 3 MEPs accused of corruption offenses and sealed their offices in the parliament;

· Adrian Severin met Martin Schultz in the evening in Brussels, stubbornly refusing to resign. However, under Socialist group pressure, which threatened him with exclusion from the group and demanded his resignation from the European Parliament, he agreed to leave the group and to become a non-affiliated MEP.

· March 24th, 2011: Adrian Severin was booed at the first session of the European Parliament since the bribery scandal erupted. When the EP President opened the session with this topic and announced that Severin decided not to resign as an MEP, he was booed by his MEP colleagues, especially the Socialists;

· Commenting on Adrian Severin’s repeated refusals to resign from the EP and on his defiance in front of calls by his colleagues and the Romanian media, The Economist notes that such stubbornness is typical in Romanian politics, where the media delights in savaging corrupt politicians, but rarely to any end. Resignations on corruption charges are virtually unknown in Romania, and bribery scandals are so common that they rarely make international news;

· MEP Monica Macovei, a widely praised anti-corruption campaigner and political figure in Romania, a former Minister of Justice, stated in an EUobserver interview that the European Parliament must substantially overhaul its rules following this corruption scandal. MEPs have five years in the European parliament to legislate for EU citizens. It’s a full-time job and I don’t see why they should have another one in parallel.

· March 25th, 2011: The pressure on Adrian Severin to resign from the EP mounts. Even the Romanian Social Democrats, a post-communist party habitually keen on hindering any anti-corruption efforts in Romania, started procedures of expelling Severin from the party.

· March 27th, 2011: The Sunday Times disclosed the name of a fourth MEP, recorded during the newspaper’s undercover investigation, who negotiated the altering of European laws in exchange for an alleged position within an advisory board of a fake company or payment, as the reporters made clear during the discussions. According to the Sunday Times, the name of the fourth MEP was Pablo Zalba Bidegain, shadow rapporteur responsible for the Investor Compensation Schemes (ICS) directive — a proposed new law protecting investors who lose money.

· March 28th, 2011 : Adrian Severin resigns from the Social Democrat Party. Nevertheless, even today he continues to deny any wrongdoings and to consequently claim there are no reasons for him to leave the European Parliament.



Leader of Pakistani Party Criticizes Use of Blood Money

Raymond Davis, the CIA security contractor who admitted to killing two Pakistani men in Lahore, was set free after paying blood money to the families of the victims.

Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice), denounced the act and said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had a ‘tacit understanding’ and it was through their joint strategy that Davis was finally released.1

The U.S. government argued, however, that Mr. Davis had diplomatic immunity and should not have been charged with any crime.

Under Islamic compensation law, blood money is an acceptable way to one’s debt, according to the court in Lahore that ordered that Davis be set free. However, there are also accusations that the family’s of the dead men are currently being held captive, with an order by the Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain to the chief of police to present the familes to the court.

For the original story by the Gulf Times, please click here.

1: Gulf Times article

The photo of Raymond Davis is from Newsinus.us

Serbian Celebrity Charged With Embezzlement

Serbian prosecutors charged Serbian diva Svetlana Ceca Raznatovic with embezzlement. She is accused of misappropriating millions of euros from the sale of football players from Obilic to foreign football clubs.

She is also accused of possessing illegal firearms found at her home. The investigation against Ms. Raznatovic concerning the charges of embezzlement began in April 2003.

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

Indian Opposition Turns up Heat on Pm over Cash-For-Votes Scam

Following allegations of bribing MPs for a 2008 vote-of-confidence, The Left and BJP in India have slammed PM Singh over denying the charges.

As discussed earlier on this site, Mr. Singh’s Congress Party is already having trouble with over corruption scandals, including licenses for telecom companies and lawmakers acquiring apartments intended for war widows. In his March 18th statement, PM Manmohan Singh dismissed the charges in the Wikileaks cable as speculative, unverified and unverifiable.

Gurudas Dasgupta (pictured above), the leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), sparked the debate in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament, claiming that a house committe in 2008 had stated that allegations over the alleged scheme needed to be appropriate investigated further. He later went on to imply that important businessman had prevented the proper authorities (the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, or the Income Tax Department) from carrying out the necessary investigative work so as to remain anonymous.

When PM Singh retorted that voters had sided with him in his re-election bid, Dasgupta replied that Over-emphasizing the poll verdict by the PM has not brought honors to him. I suppose there is a tendency to propound a dangerious theory that might is right.

Verbal retorts continued to fly from the opposition, with the PM expected to answer at least some of the allegations sometime today.

For the original story from Yahoo! news, please click here.

Haitian Elections Marred by Fraud

Up to 14 percent of the ballots for the second round run-off between popular singer Michel Martelly and former first lady Mirlande Manigat may have been tampered with, according to the election commission’s figures.

Over 1,500 tally sheets were put aside while awaiting a final decision on their validity because they were “visibly fraudulent”, according to Widmack Matador, the head of the Provisional Electoral Council.

The first round of elections were also marred by fraud, forcing the hand-picked successor of President Rene Preval, Jude Celestin, to back out of the race, allowing Martelly to run instead.

The electoral commission delayed the release of the provision results to April 4th, with the final results coming in by April 16th.

For the original story from Yahoo!, please click here.

Pictured above is former President Rene Preval

Romanian Emp Accused of Corruption; Must Quit Socialist Party

Romanian MEP, Adrian Severin, was caught offering to sell his vote to a pair of journalists posing as lobbyists.

A British daily, The Sunday Times, reported that three EMPs, including EMP Adrian Severin, were caught asking for up to €100,000 for a vote. The EP has since decided to launch an investigation into the matter, while anti-corruption prosecutors in Romania promising to do the same.

This is not the end of the matter, however, for Mr. Severin, as the Romanian National Integrity Agency is also in the process of verifying his income, although a spokesman declined to state whether the inquiry was initiated before or after the scandal recently erupted, while Mr. Severin has stated that there is no relation between recent accusations and National Integrity Agency’s investigation.

The leader of the Social Democratic Party, Victor Ponta, to which Mr. Severin is a part of, has declared that Mr. Severin must quit the party, otherwise he will initiate an exclusion procedure against him. He are three most important statements made by Mr. Ponta:

  • Adrian Severin made a mistake and he needs to be accountable for it, things are clear I wish the EP would establish any other type of responsibility, other than political

  • If Adrian Severin is to be found not guilty, I will apologize

  • PSD will follow the decisions of European Socialists and the Socialists group in the EP Severin is not the victim of a conspiracy but a victim of his mistakes.

The following articles were used to write this summary:

Hotnews.ro,

(2) Hotnews.ro,

(3) Hotnews.ro

The photo of Mr. Severin is from his Wikipedia page

Mep Calls for the End of Side Jobs for Meps

Monica Macovei, an MEP from Romania and a leading anti-corruption campaigner, has called for an end of MEPs holding additional jobs alongside their MEP duties. While MEPs must list any paid positions, Ms. Macovei argues that this not enough, citing the ongoing scandal involving 3 MEPs, including Adrian Severin, also from Romania.

In a telephone interview with EUobserver.com, Macovei said that:

MEPs have five years in the European parliament to legislate for EU citizens. It’s a full-time job and I don’t see why they should have another one in parallel, Macovei said.

We have salaries, we are paid to do this, added the former Romanian minister of justice (2004-2007) who won international plaudits for her efforts to root out high level corruption, including when cabinet colleagues were implicated.

Parliamentary spokesman Jaume Duch said that An MEP who speaks in a meeting of a parliamentary body on a subject in which they have a direct financial interest must declare that interest orally at that point. Macovei responded, however, that this was not enough.

For the original story from EUobserver.com, see the link above.

Hungarian Mp Suspects Shady Deal in Off-Shore Procurement Deal

Hungarian MP Gábor Schering (Politics Can Be Different – LMP) is calling for the government to impose restrictions on offshore companies participating in public tenders after a company register in Cyprus won an Ft 2 billion ($10.6 million) contract with the Hungarian Postal Service (Magyar Posta).

MP Schering, via the LMP, opined that the Cypriot company had been involved in shady deals in the past and that it was unacceptable that a closed tender procedure with only one bidder be awarded to an offshore company. Furthermore, Mr. Schering further speculated that Magyar Posta executives had been cozying up to the company.

The LMP member went on to state that the Socialists and Fidesz have a history of such murky deals, as in the past both parties have profited from such relationships.

For the original article, please click here.

U.K. Bribery Act Will Take Effect in July

The U.K. Bribery Act, which was delayed multiple times, will go into effect starting in July of this year. The Act is the first change to the U.K.’s bribery laws in more than a century and is intended to tighten the U.K.’s regulatory framework.

The Act is rather broad, extending to any company that has an office in the UK, employs UK citizens, or provides any services to a U.K. organization. Furthermore, the Act carries unlimited fines and a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.

For the original article, which goes through the new law from a U.S. perspective, please click here.

The picture shown above comes the U.K’s Government Legal Services webpage.

Upcoming Kazakh Elections Marred by Bad Laws

The upcoming Kazakh national elections (Apr. 3rd) are not very likely to be rated free or fair due to a number of laws restricting press freedom and ability to run for office.

This should not come as a surprise, however, as the Central Asian country has never held an election deemed to be free and fair by international observers. President Nazarbayev (70), who has ruled the country since Soviet times, enjoys widespread public support, as evidenced by his lack of a campaign so close to the elections. While he has three opponents running against him, none have publicly criticized his policies.

While Pres. Nazarbayev oversaw market reforms that led to $150 billion in foreign investments in a country of 16.4 million, he has not allowed any hint of an opposition to form in Kazakhstan, strictly limited the freedom of speech.

Of the original 22 candidates who had initially come forward to challenge the President in the upcoming national elections, 5 failed the language test required to run for the office in Kazakhstan, 4 did not take the test, and 5 more withdrew before the registration deadline. According to the ODIHR (Office of Democratic Instutions and Human Rights – the election monitoring arm of the OSCE). Furthermore, how the test’s results are determined is unclear.

For the original article from sharenet (reporting from Reuters), please click here.

Corruption Rose Last Year Says Kosovo’s Anti-Corruption Agency

Corruption rose last year says Kovoso’s Anti-Corruption Agency, costing the Kosovar economy some €10m.

The report, released on the 24th of this month, stated that corruption was prevalent in all levels of Kosovar society, especially in public enterprises, central and local governments, and the courts.

The head of the agency, Hasan Preteni, stated that senior state officials and both current and former ministers were also guilty of corruption in the past year alone.

For the original news brief, please see the SETimes article here.

Indian Spiritual Leader Denounces Corrupt Indian Government

Swami Ramdev criticized the state of Indian democracy at a recent meeting set up by the Goa Chamber of Commerce, claiming that Indian democracy is rife with corruption at all levels.

Swami Ramdev’s main complain was what he called the misuse of the Land Acquisition Act, saying that “(the) Land Acquisition Act is being misused. The government is unnecessarily harassing its own people by grabbing their land. The main crux of the grim scenario is our corrupt democratic political system wherein corrupt politicians go scot-free and innocent are punished”.

While speaking to 50 business leaders, Swami Ramdev riled against foreign mining companies, who were being awarded land via governmental misuse of the Land Acquisition Act, and were subsequently polluting local environments and stealing land away from the people, stating that Goans were specifically being cheated by their politicians.

For the original news story, please click here.

Former Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Arrested for Corruption

Hari Sabarno is the second former Indonesian minister to be arrested this week, evidence that the Indonesian government’s promises to crackdown on corruption should be taken seriously.

Mr. Sabarno was the former Home Affairs Minister between 2001 and 2005, is being tried for signing the procurement orders for regional fire trucks, which he denies. He allegedly misspent an estimated $9.78 m on procurement contracts for fire trucks. The two companies that benefited from these contracts, PT Istana Sarana Raya and PT Satal Nusantara, are both owned by the same man, Hengky Samuel Daud.

While Hari is also a former general, he will not be tried in a military court, but a corruption court, although he has requested legal help from the Indonesian Military legal unit (TNI).

For the full story, please click here.

Contest: Severin/out

The Alliance for Clean Romania (ACR) launched a contest for the best sketch of the monument commemorating Adrian Severin, author of the realkoruption doctrine and victim of a anti-European, anti-Romanian and anti-Severin conspiracy.

Starting today ACR will publish the drawings or models from the readers. An international jury will select the best, which will be sent to the European Parliament. A delegation will travel to Place Luxembourg in Brussels to discuss details related to where the monument should be placed exactly.

Right Click below and download the posters received so far on your computer at full size:

As Adrian Severin chooses to resist longer to the unanimous requests for resignation, the more time you have to practice your creativity and solidarity. Thanks to Dan Flores in Predeal who sent the first proposal. We look forward to receiving yours at contact@romaniacurata.ro, Please, mark the message subject line as ‘Monument for Adrian Severin’.

Germany Paid for Uzbek Military Base While Sanctions Were Ongoing

While the EU had placed sanctions on Uzbekistan for the 2005 massacre in Andijon, the German government continued to lease a military base in the country, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, according to Paul Schäfer of The Left Party (Die Linke).

Between 2005 and 2009, the German government paid a total of € 67.9 m ($95.5 m) to the Uzbek, according to documents recently released by the German Parliament (Bundestag) due to a December 2010 request by 3 members of The Left Party (Paul Schäfer, Jan van Aken, and Sevim Dagdelen).

Dagdelen responded that this new information would only further her party’s stance against German involvement in Afghanistan.

For the original article from Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, click here.

The photo comes courtesy of Reuters.

Embezzlement Case Against Bulgarian Businessman Begins

The fraud and embezzlement case against Bulgarian bussinessman, Hristo Kovachki, began in a Sofia courtroom today. Kovachki is charged with embezzling 16.7 m leva ($12.03 m) from value-added tax (VAT) refunds.

Kovachki, whose business interests run the gamut from banking and insurance to mining and energy, is accused of selling hardware equipment to his own companies and pocketing the VAT from the transactions. The scheme occurred during two periods, the first between February 14th, 2005 through September 14th, 2006, with the second period running from October 16th, 2006 through July 14th, 2008.

The official investigation into Mr. Kovachki’s business affaris began at the end of October 2008.

For the original story from The Sofia Echo, please click here.

Photo by: Tsvetelina Beloutova

Spanish Mep Caught Favoring Pretty Lobbyist As Part of Sunday Times Scandal

Another MEP has been caught up in the scandal surrounding several MEPs after a Sunday Times team caught Spanish MEP Pablo Zalba Bidegain admitting that the reporter was very attractive.

Mr. Zalba Bidegain was adament, however, that he received no form of payment from the Sunday Times team, even stating that he refused offers to becom a member of the board of their fake group and cash for the introduction of the amendment. The former businessman furthermore stated that I voted the way I voted because I thought I was making the law better. Some people want to make a story out of nothing […] I accepted no money or favours.

The piece of legislation that Mr. Zalba Bidegain introduced was intended to introduce compensation for investors in case of fraud, which Mr. Zalba Bidegain stood behind.

To add further embarassment to Spain, while Mr. Zalba Bidegain was the only Spanish MEP to be engaged in the ongoing scandal, Spanish daily El Mundo reported that this was not due to moral integrity of Spanish MEPs, rather it was due to the fact that none of the other Spanish MEPs had good enough English-language skills to make a lobbying proposition possible.

To read the original story from Euractiv.com, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Bidegain is from his MEP profile.

Croatian Businessman Arrested for Suspected Corruption

Bojan Milković, CEO of INA Industrija Nafta DD (INARA), was arrested on the 25th and ordered to be held in jail for 30 days on suspicion of corruption during his time at Crosco d.d., a subsidiary of INA.

The request for Mr. Milković’s arrest came from the Croatian Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime (OSCOC) and is under investigation for activities that he undertook between 2002 and 2009, none of which is related to his current position. According to the OSCOC, Mr. Milković is accused of accepting bribes.

INA, which is the fourth largest employer in Croatia, pledged to assist in the investigation in any way possible. for the original story from Bloomberg News, please click here.

The photo of Mr. Milković is taken from INA’s web page.

Former Afghan Minister Arrested for Corruption

Enayatullah Qasimi, the former Transport Minister of Afghanistan, was arrested recently for suspicion of corruption in two separate cases dating back to 2004. When combined, the two cases against Mr. Qasimi total around $12m.

The first of the corruption cases against the former minister are connected to the purchase of six airplanes. While no details were given surrounding the case by the Attorney General’s spokesman, Amanullah Iman, he is accused of abuse of power that led to the loss of $9m in government funds.

The second case against Mr. Qasimi has to do with a consulting fee totaling $3m while trying to help state-backed Ariana Airlines.

As mentioend above, rampant corruption is a massive problem in Afghanistan, which has resulted in the reduction of aid money from various donors, including the United States (~$4b) and the United Kingdom (~$140m).

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

Adrian Severin Resigns from Social Democratic Party

While still resisting pressure to resign from his European Parliament (EP) post, MEP (Romania) Adrian Severin has resigned from the Social Democratic Party. Victor Ponta, the party leader, had threatened Mr. Severin with being expelled from the party if he did not resign himself.

As mentioned last week, Mr. Severin was caught by journalists from the British newspaper The Sunday Times, along with two other MEPs (Ernst Strasser – Austria and Zoran Thaler – Slovenia), who were supposedly willing to sell their services by supporting amendments to legislation for up to €100,000. Severin has denied any wrongdoing, however, and has refused to give up his seat in the EP.

According to a statement on their website, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is updated with the information published in the Sunday Times. We evaluate the information to see if an investigation in this case is in our area of expertise.

Mr. Severin reportedl had 5 meetings in total with the journalists, although he had previously declined to introduce a previous amendment concerning waste storage. According to Mr. Severin, I committed nothing illegal and these allegations are false.

While Ernst Strasser and Zoran Thaler have resigned from all of their mandates, in order to clear their names without putting pressure on themselves, Mr. Severin has refused to do so.

For the original story from Romania-insider.com, please click here. Further information for this story was obtained from here.

The photo of Mr. Severin comes from the first link above.

Ex-Minister Jailed in Indonesia for Corruption

A former Indonesian Minister, Bachtiar Chamsya, was sentenced to 20 months in jail and fined Rp 50 million (S$7,600) for corruption today.

The former Social Affairs Minister was convicted of illegally appointing suppliers of imported cattle, sewing machines, and sarongs intended for the victims of natural disasters, bypassing the tender process, according to the court in Jakarta.

The 20-month sentence was less than the 3-year sentence asked for by the prosecution. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Indonesia is ranked as a 2.8 out of 10, 110th out of 178 countries.

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

The photo of Mr. Chamsya is from solopos.com

Kyrgyz Government to Open Investigation over Alleged Corruption in Megacom

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, successor to the deposed Kurmanbek Bakayev, has decided to create a special investigation team to research alleged financial misdeeds at the country’s largest communications services provider, Megacom.

MegaCom, whose majority shareholder is the Russian firm Eventis Telecom, is currently being run be Telecom’s representative Andrei Silich, who fled Kyrgyzstan in January before a criminal investigation over embezzlement was begun. According to Silich, the case against him has since been dropped, allowing him to come back to MegaCom.

The Kyrgyz government’s appointed supervisor of MegaCom, Azamat Murzaliev, claims that the Kyrgyz financial police have evidence that Silich embezzled $3 million from MegaCom’s abroad. Furthermore, Murzaliev claimed that Silich forced himself back into power after returning to Kyrgyzstan. A parliamentary deputy, Iskhak Pirmatov (Respublika Party), stated that a parliamentary investigation revealed that Eventis Telecom had taken over $27 million from MegaCom since April 2010.

The problems between Eventis Telecom and MegaCom have not escaped the scrutiny of the Russian Duma, either, as Aleksei Ostrovsky and Semyon Bagdasarov, deputies in the Duma, stated that the campaign led by Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov to deprive Russian businessmen of their [stake in MegaCom] is having a negative impact on Russian-Kyrgyz relations.

For the original story from Radio Free Europe, please click here.

The picture of Roza Otunbayeva is property of The Telegraph in the UK