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Mugabe stands out among the politically corrupt, while banks and energy sector top dirty business deals uncovered in 2002, says Transparency International

Transparency International issues a review of the most corrupt in politics and business in 2002 ahead of the launch of the Global Corruption Report 2003, the definitive new report on the state of corruption around the world

"Reporting on corruption and corrupt political elites ranks alongside reporting in conflict zones as the most dangerous type of journalism, often costing journalists their lives, but the corrupt are running out of places to hide," says Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International (TI), announcing the launch of the Global Corruption Report 2003. The report, which will be published by Profile Books in January 2003, was prepared by Transparency International, the world's leading non-governmental organisation engaged in the fight against corruption, and is an essential reference tool for policy-makers, business people, journalists and academics the world over.

The cover theme of the Global Corruption Report 2003, which will be launched at a press conference in London on 22 January 2003, is Access to Information. It includes coverage of the Enron scandal and recent developments in the area of freedom of information, with an assessment of the progress and setbacks since September 11th. The connections between corruption and political and corporate accountability, access to information and the role of civil society organisations and the media are examined in the book.

In his introduction, Peter Eigen writes that "civil society's efforts to combat corruption are buttressed by the work of investigative journalists. In October 2001, TI's Integrity Awards committee honoured the memory of four individuals who lost their lives as a result of their efforts to root out corruption. Three were journalists." One of those journalists was Carlos Alberto Cardoso, an investigative journalist in Mozambique, assassinated in November 2000 while investigating the largest banking fraud in the country's history. The trial of six people charged with his murder finally commenced in November 2002. Carlitos Rachide, one of those charged with killing Cardoso, told the court on 25 November that the murder was ordered by the eldest son of President Joaquim Chissano.

"Politicians continue to abuse public office and threaten journalists and civil society campaigners who seek to shed light on the murky dealings of those in power," said Eigen today. Ahead of the launch of the Global Corruption Report 2003, TI has published a brief end-of-year report of the worst offenders - both political and corporate - in 2002.

"The first attempt by any organisation to map the global fight against corruption. A kind of travel-guide to the jungle of various standards and practices in different world regions."

The Guardian (UK), 16 October 2001, on the first Global Corruption Report


Politics and corruption in 2002

January- The former admiral and chief of Pakistan's naval staff, Mansur ul-Haq, pays US$7.5 million in a plea bargain to get charges of corruption against him dropped. The money he hands over would be enough to pay the salaries of the entire Pakistani navy for two years.
The News International Pakistan, 1 Jan 2002

February - The European Union decides to impose financial sanctions on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle. Tentative estimates of Mugabe's foreign assets suggest he may have cash and property worth up to US$100 million, some of which is believed to stem from from the exploitation of lucrative mineral concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The following month, Mugabe's position is secured by a massively rigged presidential election.
Financial Times, 22 February 2002

March - A parliamentary committee in the Philippines reveals that the government loses around US$1.9 billion a year due to corruption. The money lost - twice the national education budget - would be enough to build half a million houses or construct 10,000 kilometres of roads.
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6 March 2002

April - The prime minister of Vanuatu, Barak Sope, is unseated after virtually ruining the tiny Pacific island nation by issuing state-backed letters of guarantee worth at least US$100 million to a businessman. He is now serving a three-year sentence for corruption.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 2002
BBC Monitoring Service, 6 November 2002

May - A newspaper reveals that the Swiss bank accounts of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev have been frozen. The next day, the newspaper offices are burnt down and the daughter of the journalist who wrote the article disappears. She is later found dead.
SwissInfo, 11 July 2002

June - Vladimiro Montesinos, the former spy chief of Peru, is sentenced to nine years in prison for corruption. His old boss, ex-President Alberto Fujimori, is still in exile in Japan trying to avoid extradition.
BBC News, 1 July 2002

July - The family of Sani Abacha, the late Nigerian dictator, agrees to return US$1 billion, which had been looted from the central bank. In return, some criminal charges against them will be dropped.
Inter Press Service, 22 April 2002
Financial Times, 18 April & 19 June 2002

August - A court clears the way for removing the immunity of Zambia's ex-President Frederick Chiluba after his hand-picked successor turns against him. Chiluba and his cronies are accused of stealing a total of US$80 million.
BBC News, 30 August 2002
New York Times, 1 September 2002
UN-IRIN, 12 September 2002

September - Former President Arnoldo Aléman of Nicaragua is removed as the speaker of the national assembly as a prelude to being tried for corruption. Together with friends, he is alleged to have looted around US$100 million - the equivalent of Nicaragua's annual health budget.
The Economist, 22 August 2002
DPA, 20 September 2002
Associated Press, 24 September 2002

October - Two reports from Africa shock the world. A leaked IMF report claims that every year US$1 billion disappears from the state treasury in Angola. That is more than four times the sum the United Nations is trying to raise for the million people threatened by famine there. Shortly after, a report to the UN reveals that "elite criminal networks" are prolonging the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo so that they can continue to plunder its resources undisturbed.
Angola:
BBC News, 18 October 2002
Business Day, 21 October 2002
Reuters, 1 November 2002
DRC:
UN-IRIN, 21 October 2002
Reuters, 3 November 2002
VOA, 12 November 2002
Africa Confidential, 25 October 2002

November - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy claims the right against self-incrimination to avoid being questioned by an investigating magistrate about alleged links between his business empire and organised crime. Meanwhile, Roland Dumas, the former foreign minister of France, escapes the threat of a prison sentence over his conviction for corruption. Prosecutors settle for demanding a suspended sentence after his former mistress tones down parts of her testimony.
Italy:
The Guardian, 5 December 2002
France:
The Independent, 5 November 2002
BBC News, 19 November 2002

December - Lawmakers begin impeachment hearings against Paraguay's President Luis González Macchi, who is accused of buying a stolen luxury car and mishandling millions of dollars in state funds. His predecessor is already behind bars for diverting six million dollars from the government's social welfare institute to a private bank.
BBC News, 10 April 2002
New York Times, 16 April 2002

Business and corruption in 2002

January - Hobson's chief executive Andrew Regan, accused of stealing £2.4 million (US$3.8m) from his company, declines to testify in a UK court. Regan was charged with stealing the money in 1995 to pay bribes to two executives of another company, who were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. A re-trial was ordered for Regan. It is due to take place in January 2003.
Financial Times, 29 January 2002
Global Corruption Report 2003

February - UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank and one of the leaders in the international fight against dirty money, blocks a US$60m account thought to be linked to the family of Sani Abacha, the late Nigerian dictator, who has been accused of looting up to US$3bn from his country.
Financial Times, 21 February 2002

March - Dassault Aviation says it is the victim of a smear campaign after the French aircraft manufacturer is accused in a corruption scandal in connection with the race for a South Korean fighter jet contract. The company denies bribing a colonel to help win a deal to build 40 aircraft.
Financial Times, 12 March 2002

April - Bernard Ebbers, former chief executive, director and president of WorldCom, resigns. The full scale of the WorldCom balance sheet frauds has since been estimated at more than US$7bn.
Financial Times, 29 April 2002

May - Masupha Sole, former chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Developing Authority, is convicted on 13 counts of bribery. He is subsequently sentenced to 18 years' prison for taking more than US$2 million in bribes from intermediaries representing 12 of the world's largest construction firms.
Financial Times, 21 May 2002
The Guardian, 21 May 2002
BBC News, 4 June 2002

June - Dennis Kozlowski, a former chief executive of Tyco, is charged with evading sales taxes on six paintings worth about US$13.2m and illegally obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars by selling shares.
Financial Times, 5 June 2002
Der Spiegel, 1 October 2002

July - The US Department of Justice investigates alleged money laundering by BBVA, Spain's second largest bank. US attorneys arrive in Madrid to question the bank's former chairman and chief executive. Both had resigned in 2001 following a scandal over secret offshore accounts.
Financial Times, 17 July 2002

August - Japanese prosecutors start investigating one of Japan's largest trading companies, Mitsui and Co Ltd, for corruption. Allegedly, a Mitsui employee bribed a Mongolian government official in order to secure orders for a development project in Mongolia.
Financial Times, 29 August 2002
Asahi Shimbun, 10 September 2002

September - Norway begins an investigation into the country's largest construction firm, Veidekke. A now defunct subsidiary of the company allegedly paid US$10,000 to Uganda's former energy minister to help secure a US$133 million contract in connection with the Bujagali dam in Uganda. The World Bank has suspended its support for the dam project.
Financial Times, 2 September 2002
Aftenposten, 12 September 2002

October - Canadian engineering firm Acres International is fined US$2.2 million in Lesotho after being convicted of bribing a local official in exchange for contracts on a World Bank financed US$8bn dam scheme in Lesotho. Acres, who have appealed, now risks being barred from further projects by the World Bank. Since August, Germany's Lahmeyer International is also on trial for allegedly paying bribes of more than $250,000. Other companies still facing prosecution include Britain's Balfour Beatty, France's Spie Batignolles and Dumez International, and Italy's Impregilo.
Financial Times, 29 October 2002
The Guardian, 29 October 2002
Business Day, 30 October 2002

November - The US health services provider Syncor acknowledges making payments to overseas clients that may have been illegal, sending its shares plunging by as much as 43% on the same day. Cardinal Health, which had been planning to acquire Syncor in a US$1.1bn deal, asks for a renegotiation of terms.
Reuters, 6 November 2002
Smart Money, 20 November 2002
Columbus Business First, 25 Nov 2002

December - Tyco International Ltd sues its former chief executive, Dennis Kozlowski, and former chief financial officer Mark Swartz, charging the two made more than US$40 million in illegal securities trades. The company is now asking for reimbursement of the profits.
Financial Times, 10 December 2002
The Boston Globe, 10 December 2002


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