04/30/13: The New York Times reports President Hamid Karzai acknowledged Monday that the Central Intelligence Agency has been dropping off bags of cash at his office for a decade, saying the money was used for “various purposes” and expressing gratitude to the United States for making the payments. Mr. Karzai described the sums delivered by the CIA as a “small amount,” though he offered few other details. But former and current advisers of the Afghan leader have said the CIA cash deliveries have totaled tens of millions of dollars over the past decade and have been used to pay off warlords, lawmakers and others whose support the Afghan leader depends upon. The payments are not universally supported in the United States government. American diplomats and soldiers expressed dismay on Monday about the CIA’s cash deliveries, which some said fueled corruption. They spoke privately because the CIA effort is classified. Afghan officials who described the payments before Monday’s comments from Mr. Karzai said the cash from the CIA was basically used as a slush fund, similarly to the way the Iranian money was. Some went to pay supporters; some went to cover other expenses that officials would prefer to keep off the books, like secret diplomatic trips, officials have said.
04/28/13: Al Jazeera reports Cairo’s criminal court has
rejected ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s second appeal calling for
his release pending the investigation of illicit gain charges, granting the
prosecution’s request to keep him detained.
The Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday ordered Mubarak to remain in jail for
fifteen days while charges are probed; Mubarak can appeal the decision. Mubarak is being detained pending the
investigations of other corruption charges including taking funds allocated for
maintenance of the presidential palaces for himself and his family. The long-time autocrat was ousted during a
2011 public uprising and has spent more than two years in detention without a
final verdict in the case, which alleges that he is responsible for the deaths
of nearly 900 protesters during the uprising.
04/27/13: The New York Times reports the police on Friday arrested one of the country’s presidents and 18
other people in a corruption investigation in one of
Bosnia-Herzegovina’s two main sections, a prosecution spokesman said.
Zivko Budimir, a president of the Bosnian-Croat Federation, was among
those suspected of “abuse of office, illegal intermediation, receiving
and giving bribes, organized crime and drug trafficking,” the spokesman
02/10/13: The Miami Herald reports Swiss authorities have
decided not to open a graft case against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Sunday Sunday that
Switzerland had informed Islamabad that Zardari is immune from any prosecution. Complying with a longstanding demand of
Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Zardari’s government in November asked Swiss
authorities to reopen proceedings against him.
A lengthy confrontation between Zardari and the Pakistan Supreme Court
has played out in the Swiss case, which relates to millions of dollars in
kickbacks that Zardari and his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto,
allegedly received from Swiss companies when she was in power in the 1990’s.
01/25/13: Wired's Danger Room reports the Pentagon’s far-out research agency is something of a revolving door. Program managers enter; defense consultants and academics leave; and then they come back a few years later. The Pentagon’s watchdog has concluded that’s completely above board. DARPA’s ethics training “appropriately mitigated the potential for conflicts-of-interest," concludes Jacqueline L. Wicecarver, the Pentagon’s assistant inspector general, in a report released on Thursday. Its ethics policies are consistent with federal standards, and its employees tend to follow them. In the major test case for conflicts of interest that the inspector general studied, DARPA came out with a clean bill of good-government health. The report, however, shows the depth of conflicts among Darpa employees. The 40 employees the inspector general selected for ethics review — the agency employees around 200 people — filed 53 reports notifying the government of some sort of conflict of interest with supervising agency contractors or grantees. And that was just in a two-year period.
01/17/13: The New York Times reports the country’s top anti-corruption official told the Supreme Court on Thursday that he cannot comply with court orders to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, raising the prospect of a fresh confrontation between the senior judiciary and the country’s embattled leadership. On Tuesday the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the arrest of Mr. Ashraf and 15 other current and former officials as part of a year-old corruption prosecution relating to Mr. Ashraf’s tenure as minister for water and power between 2008 and 2011.
11/15/12: The New York Times reports with billions of dollars in potential fines and foreign investment in the balance, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday released long-awaited guidance on how prosecutors interpret and enforce a federal anticorruption law that bans American businesses from bribing officials overseas. The 120-page "resource guide to the Foriegn Corrupt Practices Act lays out the government’s understanding of and standard practices for the 1977 law. The statute sat largely dormant for decades, but a recent rush of enforcement has brought anxiety to corporate boardrooms, leading to large fees for compliance lawyers and enormous fines and settlements paid to the government. The detailed guidance — including numerous case studies illustrating what would and would not be considered a violation of the law — is particularly important because cases of foreign corrupt practices rarely get adjudicated. Corporations are generally inclined to settle potential cases without a trial because being indicted can cripple a business.
11/10/12: The BBC reports Iraq has cancelled a $4.2bn (£2.6bn) deal to buy arms from Russia because of concerns about "corruption", an Iraqi government advisor has said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has launched an investigation into the deal, his spokesman told the BBC. The purchase - said to include attack helicopters and missiles - was only signed off in October. Iraq has been rebuilding its armed forces since the end of US-led combat operations against insurgents.
11/06/12: The BBC reports Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the defence minister after his ministry was caught up in a corruption scandal. Anatoly Serdyukov has been replaced with a former emergencies minister and loyal ally of Mr Putin, Sergei Shoigu. Russia's top investigative agency is investigating the sale of ministry assets at prices below market value. Mr Putin said he had removed Mr Serdyukov to create "conditions for an objective investigation".