TI France releases plan for returning ill-gotten gains of grand corruption to country of origin

Issued by Transparency International France



Translations: ES


At 10am on 27 October 2017, a French court will return its verdict in the unprecedented trial, "Biens mal acquis”*. On the occasion this decision, Transparency International France, the leading civil party in the case, has formulated a proposal to enable the return of money resulting from grand corruption to the populations of the countries of origin, who are the primary victims of these crimes. It is they who pay the highest price for the illicit enrichment of their ruling elites.

Every year, billions of euros are diverted, especially to France, to fuel the expensive lifestyles of corrupt leaders abroad, instead of funding infrastructure and essential public services such as hospitals, roads or schools.

In the event of conviction and confiscation of property, it is essential that the sums recovered be returned to the populations who have been unjustly deprived of them. This is provided for in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Article 57.3.c).

However, there is nothing in current French law to guarantee that assets recovered from cases of grand corruption are allocated to the benefit of the victims. In fact, the confiscated assets and the money resulting from their sale return to the State budget. Urgent changes are needed to the French legislative framework.

A totally unfair situation

"How can one justify that the assets seized in grand corruption cases do not return one way or another to the victims?" protests Maud Perdriel-Vaissière, a member of Transparency International France and author of the report.

To fill this gap, Transparency International France proposes the introduction of an illicit asset allocation mechanism (see below). The NGO intends to promote this tool during a conference to be held at the National Assembly on 23 November 2017.

Far from being limited to the "Biens mal acquis” case alone, the proposed tool is intended to apply to all cases of grand corruption.

“Fourteen years ago France actively advocated for the return of illicit assets to be included in the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It is high time to implement this commitment," said Marc-André Feffer, President of Transparency France.

The key points of the plan proposed by Transparency International France

1. The seized assets, as well as the sums of money recovered, must be isolated from the State budget and placed in a special account, pending their allocation to the population of the state of origin.

2. The funds shall be used exclusively for improving the living conditions of the populations of the countries of origin and / or for strengthening the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

3. A consultation process must be conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner which includes the participation of civil society representatives.

4. Funds must be managed in a transparent manner and their use strictly controlled.

 

*Ill-gotten gains: a 10-year legal battle

In 2008, alerted by several reports and the result of a preliminary police investigation, Transparency International France launched through its lawyer, William Bourdon, a legal battle that many described as a lost cause.  The goal was to ensure that France is no longer the host of money laundering and embezzled funds and to return these to the people to whom they belong.

After 10 years of proceedings and a course fraught with pitfalls – court rejections, endless appeals, intimidation attempts and defamation accusations –  the French courts will deliver their verdict on Friday 27 October in the case against “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea who has allegedly amassed an immense fortune in France (mansions, luxury cars, art pieces…) with funds embezzled in his country.


For any press enquiries please contact

Anne Boisse
+33 1 86 95 36 01
+33 7 60 07 89 96
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

Political asylum for ex-presidents: an easy way to impunity?

This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration. Yet while we celebrate the universality of human rights, at times powerful individuals try to abuse the principles that underpin the international human rights framework. Two recent cases of two ex-presidents who have applied for political asylum to evade justice, and two countries who handled these requests in very different ways, highlight some of these abuses.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

Across the world, Transparency International chapters work hard to help the public become involved and engaged in the fight against corruption.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Future Against Corruption Award 2018

TI is calling on young people across the globe to join the anti-corruption movement. People between the age of 18 and 35 are invited to submit a short video clip presenting their idea on new ways to fight corruption. Three finalists will be invited to Berlin during the International Anti-Corruption Day festivities to be awarded with the Future Against Corruption Award.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media