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Wednesday News Wall 19 October 2016

CORRUPTION

The Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, drew criticism for comments during the week that were seen as ‘feigning helplessness’ in the war against graft while deflecting blame to other organs of state.

The Kenyan Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission says it is in the process of recovering Ksh.5.5 billion ($54 million in 2016) that was allegedly corruptly acquired from the counties.

Mexico is seeking the arrest of two governors– one from the governing party, one from the opposition- for alleged corruption while in office.

CRIMINAL LAW

An IPSOS survey found that the crime rate in Nairobi was twice the national average between June and August this year. This contrasts with the KBS economic survey 2016 which found that the previous year’s crime rate (as measured by crimes reported to police per 100,000 people) in Nairobi was supposedly lower than that in the central, eastern and Rift Valley counties.

In a landmark ICC case that could impact Kenyan individuals, Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo was found guilty of interfering with witnesses. This an offence against the administration of justice under the Rome Statute. Bemba was already in the midst of an 18-year prison term for war crimes. The ICC is currently seeking the surrender of Walter Barasa, a Kenyan citizen accused of engaging in similar conduct on behalf of Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenyatta’s case was dropped by the ICC prosecutor owing- in part- to alleged witness intimidation and bribery.

Here is an intriguing look at whether the ICC’s recent commitment to look more at crimes against humanity and war crimes that damage the environment could pave the way for cases involving expropriation of land, destruction of forests and illegal exploitation of natural resources.

For those interested in fraud research, here is an infographic by EUROPOL on global action against airline fraudsters.

India’s Galgotias University is organising an international conference on the administration of the criminal law in India. According to the notice, the conference will “examine Indian criminal justice administration through the lens of contemporary international development, with an emphasis on the relationship between procedural rights and questions of fair trial, access to justice and quality of justice.”

MONEY LAUNDERING

The UK government has drafted a financial crimes bill that, among other things, seeks to:

  • “enhanced powers of investigation and asset recovery in relation to the proceeds of crime and money laundering, including the introduction of unexplained wealth orders;
  • the extension of relevant money laundering and asset recovery powers to investigations under the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT); and
  • the creation of two new corporate offences for failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion…” [source: GT Alert]

One item in the bill that I am truly in favour of- as I argued in this policy paper I recently uploaded- is going after those with unexplained assets- in the UK case, this will be through Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs).

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