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ON THE MONEY TRAIL: Corruption in the news - Jan. 3

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 3 Jan 2013 16:12 GMT
Author: TrustLaw
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CAIRO - Egypt’s government will form a supreme commission to combat corruption, Ahram Online reports. At a press conference on a government initiative to kick start the economy, Egyptian Premier Hisham Kandil said the new commission will institutionalise efforts to fight graft. The monitoring body will target the retrieval of illicit gains taken out of the country and coordinate with other Egyptian watchdog agencies.

SARAJEVO - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has been named Corruption's “Person of the Year” by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, reports. The investigative journalism group, which specialises in reporting on graft in the region stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, also awarded some "honourable" mentions. These went to alleged Kosovo-born cigarette and drugs smuggler Naser Kelmendi, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Serbian entrepreneur Miroslav Miskovic, long-time Uzbek President Islam Karimov and wanted Serbian drugs smuggler Darko Saric.

PRAGUE – Czech daily newspapers report that a partial amnesty declared by outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus applies to a number of politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption, according to the Prague Daily Monitor. Among those expected to avoid punishment is Frantisek Chvalovsky, the former Czech football association head. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a loan fraud, but the verdict was set aside by a higher court and the case sent back to a lower court.

NEW DELHI - Corruption is a "disease like cancer" which, if not detected in time, will spread "its malignancy" in the polity of the country “leading to disastrous consequences”, two Supreme Court justices have said, according to the Economic Times of India. The observations were made in a judgment dismissing the Gujarat government's plea against the state high court's Jan. 18, 2012 order which had upheld Justice (Retd) R A Mehta's appointment as Lokayukta (anti-graft ombudsman).

JACKSON, Miss. - Imprisoned former attorney Paul Minor has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his sentence in a Mississippi judicial corruption case, the Associated Press reports. Minor is appealing a decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August that upheld the sentences of Minor and former judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield. Prosecutors said Minor backed loans for the judges in exchange for favourable court rulings. In court documents, Minor has argued that prosecutors didn't prove he received something in return for guaranteeing loans for Teel, a chancery court judge, and Whitfield, a circuit judge.

RIO DE JANEIRO - In February 2001, Brazilian newspapers noted something different in Rio de Janeiro's annual Carnival celebration: The public officials who traditionally populated corporate boxes were no longer present, Foreign Policy magazine notes in an article about how  Brazil is fighting sleaze. In the past, these high-profile officials had received VIP treatment, with private beer companies paying for their airfare, meals and reserved seating. The difference hinged on Brazil's year-old Public Ethics Commission. A few months earlier, the commission had published a rule that clarified what gifts, if any, senior civil servants could accept, deeming numerous perks unacceptable because they could bias politically-sensitive decisions.

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