South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (pictured here) has made public a number of initiatives that the government plans to undertake in order to fight corruption in the country. Among the measures to be implemented are new laws for public contracting and disclosure requirements for public officials’ assets and earnings.
Mr. Kiir also said that embezzlement accusations will be investigated and the results of those investigations will be transparent to the public. In addition to that, the government also intends to appoint senior advisors from other countries in the region and to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission that is already in place.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture of Mr. Kiir shown above is also featured in the article and is credited to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Independence Day celebrations in Brazil were accompanied by rallies against corruption in several major cities, including the capital Brasilia. Protesters painted their faces, wore clown noses and took buckets and mops outside government buildings to express their discontent with recent corruption scandals.
Some demonstrators showed support to President Roussef’s pledge to wash away corruption from the government. Since her term began in January, three ministers have resigned over corruption accusations.
The so-called ‘March against Corruption’ had no association with specific political parties and was organized through the use of social media. The protests were supported by several civil society organizations, including Brazil’s College of Lawyers, the Brazilian Press Association and the National Bishop’s Conference.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture shown above is also featured in the article and is credited to the Associated Press.
Issa Hayatou (pictured here), president of the Confederaiton of African Football and appointed by FIFA to head the organizing committee for the football tournament in the 2012 Olympic Games, is being investigated by the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission over corruption accusations.
The investigation was triggered by corruption allegations broadcasted during BBC’s Panorama program in 2010. According to their report, Hayatou received payments from ISL, a former marketing partner of FIFA during the 1990s. Hayatou has denied the accusations.
For the full article on guardian.co.uk, please click here. The picture of Mr. Hayatou is also featured in the article and is credited to European Pressphoto Agency (EPA).
A new corruption scandal involving a large number of representatives may lead to a significant political crisis in Kuwait. Recent media reports revealed that several banks disclosed to the state prosecution that over a dozen of Members of Parliament and also former ministers received suspicious cash deposits into their accounts.
The scandal emerged as Al-Qabas newspaper reported that two MPs had received the equivalent to $92 million in cash deposits. According to the article, the deposits were payments in exchange for political support in important voting in Parliament.
Opposition members and activists against the current government are expected to use this case in order to build momentum for demands to dissolve Parliament.
For the full article on dailystar.com.lb, please click here.
The Italian Parliament has denied a request by the state prosecution to arrest representative Marco Milanese (pictured here), accused of involvement in a corruption case while working as a political advisor for Finance Minister Guido Tremonti.
Milanese resigned from his position in the Ministry of Finance in June, after being accused of revealing confidential information in exchange for financial advantages. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Tremonti has been caught up in the scandal as it came to light the he had been paying Milanese informally to use his apartment in Rome.
For the full article by the Associated Press, please click here. The picture of Mr. Milanese is from lettera43.it.
Indian Bihar State has implemented a new law to recover assets that may have originated from corrupt acts. The case of a senior civil servant accused of corruption is a good illustration: his property in the state capital Patna has been confiscated by the government and his three-story house has been transformed into a school for slum children.
The decision is founded on the Bihar Special Courts Act from 2009, which gave the state government the authority to confiscate assets of officials charged with corruption even before they are convicted. According to a government official, however, the state has to return all possessions to their owners with 5% interest in case they are acquitted.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture shown above is also featured in the article.
The BBC program Newsnight has reported evidence of payments from Azerbaijan to the World Series Boxing (WSB) to secure the country with two gold medals in the boxing tournament in the 2012 Olympic Games. The information came from whistleblowers from within WSB.
According to one of the whistleblowers, the deal was motivated by financial difficulties faced by WSB in the United States. The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), responsible for the organization of the boxing competition at the Olympic Games, has admitted that it has received the sum of $9 million from an Azeri individual to one of the competitions. However, they have denied that the money was associated with a deal to manipulate the competition. Lawyers representing AIBA and WSB claim that the money came from a private Azeri investor.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture above is also featured in the original article.
The National Judicial Council will start an investigation on a Supreme Court Justice’s alleged involvement in an attempt to manipulate election results in Delta State. The Justice, whose name has not been disclosed, is believed to have acted in order to influence the election for the State House of Assembly with the objective of benefiting a relative.
The investigation was triggered by a petition filed on August 26th by a group associated with the Niger Delta Restoration Forum.
For the full article on vanguardngr.com, please click here.
Kuwait’s Government passed yesterday an Anti-Corruption draft law that will now be sent to the head of state and the Parliament. The draft includes provisions on crimes such as financial disclosure, money laundering, manipulation of public contracting procedures and bribery, among others. The bill foresees the creation of an independent anti-corruption body.
The measure follows an assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that pointed out weaknesses in the national legal framework to combat money laundering. Last week, a protest by around 2,000 people in the capital also called for measures against corruption in the government.
For the full article on arabtimesonline.com, please click here.
The Chinese government has launched this month a new program to curb corruption. The program will consist of a system to closely monitor travel by public officials and their families and also asset transfers to other countries. The new strategy aims at stopping corrupt officials from fleeing the country.
The program is planned to last one year and will be implemented in 10 regions, according to information published on the website of the Ministry of Supervision. This Ministry is responsible for investigations on violations of administrative rules by government officials.
For the full article on huffingtonpost.com, please click here. The picture above is from bbc.co.uk and is credited to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) published yesterday a report about the political situation in Iraq in recent years. The assessment shows that, although the current government has managed to reduce violence in the country, it has contributed to increased and widespread corruption.
According to the document, public services are characterized by deep-rooted corruption and anti-corruption institutions in the country are pray to political interference and manipulation. Additionally, the Judiciary is also portrayed as vulnerable to political pressure. The report refers to common cases of embezzlement, bribery and nepotism as well.
The analysis by ICG also emphasizes the negative impact of the situation in hampering growth and development. The policy recommendations stated in the report include a stronger anti-corruption framework, disclosure requirements for political party financing and reforms to the legislative process.
For the full article on thenational.ae, please click here. The picture above is also featured in the article and is credited to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Lawyer Robert Bourgi declared in an interview to the Journal de Dimanche last Sunday that former President Jacques Chirac and former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (pictured here) received about $20 million from several African heads-of-government to finance political campaigns.
Bourgi, known for facilitating contact between African and French political leaders, claims to have been personally involved in delivering cash to Mr. Chirac and Mr. de Villepin. He mentioned that the money was in part used to finance Chirac’s 2002 election campaign.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture of Mr. Chirac and Mr. de Villepin shown above is also featured in the article and is credited to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
A special operation conducted by the Sofia City Prosecutor’s office arrested today 17 traffic police officers accused of corruption and of operating an organized crime group. The operation resulted from several months of investigation.
According to a report by Bulgarian National Televesion, the investigation started after a large number of complaints against traffic police officers were filed. The investigation showed that the accused commonly split the collected bribes among the group after the end of the work shift. The evidence against them includes also recorded images of officers receiving bribes.
For the full article on sofiaecho.com, please click here. The picture above is also featured in the article.
Only a few weeks before the next presidential and local elections on October 23rd, Bulgarian citizens can now use a new website to report election violations such as vote buying, fraud and voter intimidation. The webpage For Fair Elections (logo pictured here) was launched last Saturday by the Institute for Public Environment Development.
Presented at the seminar Elections 2011 – Mobilizing Institutions and Citizens for Honest and Free Election Process, the website allows users to report irregularities through social media platforms, e-mail or phone. The location of each occurence is then marked on a map. The project also expects Bulgarian citizens abroad to report violations that they might experience.
For the full story on novinite.com, please click here. The website For Fair Elections can be accessed here.
Freedom of Information activists around the world celebrate today the International Right to Know Day (logo pictured here). The date was first established in 2003 by the Freedom of Information Advocates Network, as a way to promote and raise awareness about citizens’ right to information.
An article by Andrea Figari posted on Transparency International’s blog makes use of this occasion to discuss the topic. According to the article, seven countries have passed freedom of information laws in the last year, and in other 18 countries bills on the subject are currently under consideration.
The author also refers to a number of successful initiatives that have been implemented by governments and civil society organizations in several countries. More recent projects are also mentioned, for instance regarding efforts to increase transparency about allocation of development aid and the recently launched Open Government Partnership also adds to the list.
For the full article on blog.transparency.org, please click here.
In an interview to the TrustLaw website, Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) member Joseph Kamara (pictured here) talked about the contribution of recent policies to fight corruption and about how this issue is connected to historical and cultural factors experienced in the country.
Kamara highlighted that the creation of a centralized Anti-Corruption Commission has had a very positive impact on the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. In his opinion, because the ACC is empowered by the Anti-Corruption Act to prosecute its own cases, it has been able to combat corruption more effectively than the Attorney-General did before.
He also discussed the importance of efforts to change the general cultural construct that associates corrupt behavior with being smart and making use of available opportunities. Kamara mentioned a new anti-corruption education program that aims at sensitizing the population about the harmful impact of corruption and changing the overall perception of corruption as acceptable.
For the full article on trust.org, please click here. The picture of Mr. Kamara above is from Sierra Express Media.
The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) (logo pictured here) and Transparency International (TI) launched a new anti-corruption campaign at an event at the Press Federation in Beirut yesterday. The campaign, entitled Time to Wake Up, is a global initiative by TI and will be piloted in Lebanon and other four countries.
The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness among citizens about the costs of corruption and to motivate people to fight it. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will be used in parallel to other resources specific to each country.
According to LTA’s Chairman Gerard Zovighian, Lebanon faces widespread political and administrative corruption with devasting economic and social consequences. He also called attention for the impact of corruption as a trigger to protests and revolutions in other Arab countries, and mentioned that it is time for Lebanon to put an end to corruption as well.
For the full article on dailystar.com.lb, please click here.
Transparency International’s Slovakian Chapter launched yesterday a website (granty.transparency.sk) that compiles information on state subsidies to sports and culture projects, allocated by the Ministries of Education and Culture, the Audiovisual Fund and the Cabinet Office between 2004 and 2010. Users can access data on over 30,000 grants.
The organization highlighted that around €60 million are spent each year in such subsidies, but the government does not offer easily accessible information on where exactly the money goes. The initiative tries to fill this gap and centralize the data in one portal.
For the full article on spectator.sme.sk, please click here.
The European Parliament has decided today in favor of waiving the parliamentary immunity of Austrian representative Hans-Peter Martin (pictured here), who has been accused of embezzling election campaign subsidies.
Following this decision, Austrian prosecutors will be able to open an investigation against Martin. The accusations against him came from another EU legislator, who claimed that Martin used about one million euros of election funds for private purposes.
For the full article on monstersandcritics.com, please click here. The picture of Mr. Martin is from noen.at.
The 2014 World Cup, to take place in Brazil, is already expected to be the most expensive in history, with estimated costs of $13 billion. For brazilian public prosecutors and anti-corruption watchdogs, however, this amount is likely to be even higher, as preparations for the event show a trend of overspending and potential misuse of public funds.
According to Athayde Ribeiro da Costa, chief prosecutor in the state of Amazonas and head of a group of 12 prosecutors working on cases related to World Cup projects, there are over 80 civil investigations under way to verify possible abuses in major construction projects related to the event. One of the main concerns regards the inobservance of public contracting procedures.
For the full story on economictimes.indiatimes.com, please click here. The original article is credited to Reuters. The picture above is from telegraph.co.uk.
Yesterday Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (pictured here) swore in the nine members of the country’s newly created anti-corruption commission. The commissioners come from various fields such as administration, law, religion and law enforcement.
The commission was created by President Mugabe in fulfillment of a clause in the coalition deal struck with former opposition leader and present Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after the disputed 2008 elections. Also as a result of this political compromise, Mugabe has already set up commissions in charge of human rights, media and electoral issues.
For the full story on iol.co.za, please click here. The picture of Mr. Mugabe shown above is also featured in the original article and credited to AFP.
São Paulo’s Public Prosecutor filed yesterday charges of embezzlement and money laundering against three leaders of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, one of Brazil’s most prominent evangelical churches. According to the accusation, they have laundered and used for private purposes hundreds of millions obtained through donations by church followers.
The prosecution claims that the accused used offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and Jersey to channel the money out of country. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is known for its association with important media outlets in Brazil and its ostentatious temples.
For the full story on guardian.co.uk, please click here. The picture above is from panoramio.com.
After demonstrations in Amman, Jordan’s Parliament has decided to postpone the discussion of a bill that criminalizes corruption allegations. The bill has already been endorsed by the Lower House and was expected to pass today at a meeting in the Senate.
The bill raised much criticism from the media, lawyers and the opposition because of article 23, which establishes fines between $42,000 and $85,000 to those who accuse others of corruption without presenting proof. The Jordan Bar Association considers the article to be unconstitutional.
Although no date has been establish to resume the discussion on the proposition, government officials said that a new meeting is likely to take place in one month.
For the full article on middle-east-online.com, please click here. The picture above is also featured in the original article.
Former President Jacques Chirac’s (pictured here) trial on embezzlement charges began today in his absence. Chirac’s lawyers presented a report stating that his health condition did not allow him to attend the trial.
He is accused in two separate charges of paying party members and supporters through ghost jobs in Paris’s municipal administration when he was mayor (1977-1995). Chirac has denied all accusations. If convicted, he could be sentenced to prison and a fine in the amount of 150,000 euros.
For the full article on bbc.co.uk, please click here. The picture of Mr. Chirac shown above is also featured in the article and is credited to Reuters.
Philippine companies have signed today an integrity pledge with government agencies. The measure is part of recent anti-corruption efforts by the government, aiming at ultimately improving the business environment in the country.
Close to 700 firms, including major national and multinational corporations, took part in the agreement to promote and abide by ethical and business standards.
President Aquino reminded businessmen who took part in the initiative that the pledge was not enough to fight corruption, and that they had also to do their part and refrain from tax evasion.
For the full article on reuters.com, please click here. The picture above is from the website of the Philippine House of Representatives.