Tag Archives: corruption

Brazil: President recorded discussing pay-off for witness in corruption case

Source: Newsweek

"Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness to remain silent in the country's biggest-ever graft probe, according to plea bargain testimony by a powerful businessman, newspaper O Globo reported on Wednesday. Temer's office on Wednesday acknowledged he had met in March with the businessman, Chairman Joesley Batista of meat giant JBS, but denied any part in alleged efforts to keep jailed former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha from testifying. The O Globo report, which three sources familiar with the matter said was accurate, threatened to pull Temer into a corruption scandal that has already entangled several of his closest allies and advisors. … Batista used a hidden device to record an alleged discussion with Temer about hush money the executive was paying to Cunha, according to the newspaper." (05/18/17)


One incumbent falls

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"When former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was indicted last July on 24 felony counts of fraud and obstruction, she suggested that if the FBI hadn’t wasted time investigating her for milking a charity for personal gain, they might have prevented the Orlando massacre. … Last week, the former congresswoman was convicted of 18 felonies related to fraudulently raising $800,000 for the One Door for Education Foundation, which only spent $1,200 on two small college scholarships — 0.0015 of what was raised … for college scholarships. As the Feds put it, Congresswoman Brown and her congressional chief of staff 'used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that [her chief of staff] made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.'" (05/16/17)


FL: Brown convicted of 18 felonies, could be sentenced to decades in prison

Source: St. Augustine Record

"A jury convicted former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown today of financial crimes that could put her in prison for years, potentially the rest of her life. The verdict was reached three days after closing arguments in a trial where Brown was painted as living the high life on secret cash that aides deposited in her bank account after passing it through other accounts. … Jurors were told the brash 70-year-old Democratic icon, who spent 24 years in Congress before losing reelection last year, received $141,000 in untraceable cash over several years through sources including the sham charity One Door for Education and her Friends of Corrine Brown campaign committee. An FBI accountant testified Brown, who earned around $175,000 a year as a member of Congress with a pension from the Florida Legislature, spent an average of $1,438 per month more than her reported income." (05/11/17)


Corruption revisited

Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jayant Bhandari

"In India one must pay a bribe for everything one gets, and paying a bribe is usually not enough; one must grovel at the feet of those in power. Any sane person who wants to survive must stay politically well-connected, learning to exchange favors in an entangled mess. One can understand why Indians who must live in India may need to tone down their opposition either to the backwardness of society or to the tyrants that backwardness creates. Most of the media is indirectly controlled by the government, for without government advertisement revenue it is hard to survive. Meanwhile, India consistently ranks among the most dangerous places for journalists. Freedom of speech in India is a myth, and even the richest and most powerful live in chronic anxiety." (04/28/17)


Special interests: A crooked tale of two countries

Source: Students For Liberty
by Beatriz Gietner

"Being a Brazilian student in Ireland allowed me to extend my disheartening attitude towards the government across the Atlantic, and while in my mind a voice proclaimed 'Europe cannot get any worse than South America,' there are indeed embedded problems along the vast Irish green fields. Bureaucracy, the Catholic church, undernourished respect for private property and insensitive laws, all intertwine before their two almighty judiciary systems with the blessings of front bench politicians. The latest upsetting news to reach us and to affect my friends’ lives directly are always, somehow, related to the newest 'scandal' or 'strike.' This time the scandal took place in Brazil whilst the strike happened in Ireland." (04/20/17)


One hundred days of corruption

Source: The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

"Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he was not beholden to wealthy donors, and pledged to 'drain the swamp' in Washington. But unlike previous presidents, Trump has failed to release his tax returns or put his business assets in a blind trust. Members of his family, including his daughter, Ivanka —
now an official White House adviser — continue to promote their own private business interests around the world. Trump has signed legislation that would weaken international anti-corruption regulations, has promoted his personal business ventures while in the White House, and faces a record 39,105 public ethics inquiries and complaints before the Office of Congressional Ethics. Here are a few highlights of what might be called Trump’s first 100 days of corruption …" (04/20/17)


Pakistan: Court orders further graft probe against Sharif

Source: Bloomberg

"Pakistan’s top court ordered further investigation into corruption charges against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, for now taking off immediate pressure and the prospect of a potential disqualification as his government continues efforts to boost an economy hit for years by power outages and terrorism. … The court took up the case in November following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists showed his three children either owned or have signing rights to authorize transactions of four offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. Those holdings were alleged to have been used to make property purchases in London. Sharif’s political opponents doubted the premier’s family made assets outside Pakistan through legal means." (04/20/17)


Spain: Rajoy called to testify in graft trial

Source: Yahoo! News

"One of Spain's top criminal courts on Tuesday summoned Mariano Rajoy to testify as a witness in a major corruption trial, a first for the conservative prime minister. 'They have called him as witness,' a spokesman for the National Court that deals with major corruption cases told AFP, adding no date had been set yet for the hearing. Rajoy will take the stand as part of the so-called Gurtel trial, which centres on a vast network that allegedly saw companies shower former lawmakers and civil servants from his ruling Popular Party (PP) with bribes in exchange for contracts." (04/18/17)


Japan: Chief of scandal-hit school implicates Abe under oath

Source: The Mainichi [Japan]

"The head of a nationalist Osaka school operator at the center of a growing political scandal repeated Thursday in sworn testimony in the Diet his earlier claim that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe donated 1 million yen ($8,900) to the organization. Speaking under oath, Yasunori Kagoike, chief of school operator Moritomo Gakuen, reiterated that the prime minister's wife Akie Abe gave him the donation on her husband's behalf in September 2015 when she made a speech at a kindergarten run by the operator. … Moritomo Gakuen paid a fraction of the appraised price in its purchase of the plot in June last year, fueling speculation of political interference in the land deal and scrutiny of Kagoike's links with the Abes and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada." (03/23/17)


France: Fillon pleads conspiracy theory after graft charge

Source: Bloomberg

"Francois Fillon told voters he's the victim of a plot, as pollsters assess how far his deepening legal problems have damaged his bid to be France's next president. A day after being charged with embezzlement over his wife's allegedly fake job as a parliamentary aide, the 63-year-old former prime minister insisted on his innocence in a radio interview Wednesday and argued that the courts are being used by his political opponents in the run-up to the first round of voting on April 23. 'Justice is being manipulated against me to prevent me from running,' Fillon told Radio Classique. 'I am innocent.'" (03/15/17)