Ineffective prosecution of corruption helps it to grow. It also allows state capture – the control of a nation by private interests. This is because corruption not only damages development, democracy and equality, it can also increase the undue influence people have over governments, institutions and sectors. An independent judiciary is vital for stopping corruption and state capture.
Unfortunately, criminal justice systems in the Western Balkans and Turkey often fail to effectively investigate, prosecute and sanction high-level corruption cases. Most grand corruption cases get stuck at the investigation and prosecution stages and do not lead to convictions or systemic change. Those who are convicted often receive disproportionately light sentences.
We want to highlight these failings, improve understanding of corruption and state capture and push for change, so we have created a database with details of corruption cases in the region.
You can read summaries and in-depth descriptions of grand corruption cases and others that might be an entry point to state capture. These illustrate the red flags and shortcomings in the judicial systems of those countries when dealing with corruption so that issues can be addressed and offenders are held to account.
We invite everyone who visits this database to use the information it contains to push decision-makers to build more transparent, accountable and integrity-filled judiciaries, that can prosecute corruption independently.
You can find cases dating from 2005 to present day in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The cases can be filtered by country, offence, any phase of the enforcement process and sectors ranging from construction to public institutions to education.
The database is not meant to be fully comprehensive and does not include all the corruption cases in each country. It uses a qualitative approach to the cases, as a tool to understand how the judicial system operates.