Weekly news – 2 March 2018
Unfortunately this week we were reminded again of the terrible risks facing journalists who report on corruption.
- Ján Kuciak, a Slovakian investigative journalist, and his fiancée were shot dead in their home. Ján had been investigating mafia activity in Slovakia – including suspected links to the highest levels of the Slovak government. Police confirmed that his murder was most likely linked to his investigative work.
- One in five of the journalists killed since 2012 were covering a corruption story. Our additional analysis on the Corruption Perceptions Index launched last Wednesday shows that countries with the least protection for press and activists also tend to have the worst rates of corruption.
- The CPI also shows that progress against corruption is stalling around the world. Argentina hosts the G20 this year and has an opportunity to put anti-corruption firmly on the global agenda. The first G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group has just met in Buenos Aires to discuss curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). We’ve developed 10 principles that we think governments and SOEs should adopt.
- Why is this important? SOEs rank among the largest companies in the world, and when they work badly, citizens feel the impact. Just this week we raised red flags over a murky deal to transfer ownership of most of the Bulgarian electricity market – currently owned by a Czech SOE – to a opaque Bulgarian company. The risks of a country’s power grid being in unknown hands are simply too great. More transparency is needed.
For the first time in its presidency of the G20, Argentina is hosting country representatives from across the globe to address the best ways of curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
As follow-up to the regional analysis of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, additional examples from Albania, Kosovo and Georgia highlight the need for more progress in anti-corruption efforts in these countries and across the region.
This is the latest story of our series Real Lives, Real Stories, written by staff from our national chapters in the Asia Pacific region. Did you miss the last story? Catch up here.
By Joe Powell, Deputy CEO of Open Government Partnership (OGP)
In 2018 the international summit architecture has turned its focus to corruption. From the African Union to G20, these summits should be important moments to secure high-level commitments that shift the incentives and political dynamics that are at the heart of corruption, yet often global summits result in little more than communiques with warm words but too little action.
“Corruption poses an overarching money laundering risk in Ukraine.”- From the very first sentence in its key findings, corruption runs right through European anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL’s new report on Ukraine.
How to deal with commercial secrets in state-owned enterprises: lessons from the Brazilian experience
Transparency in state-owned enterprises is an indispensable tool for preventing corruption. The disclosure of information concerning SOEs, however, is often hampered by the broad legal protection currently granted to commercial secrets, which are often invoked as a reason for withholding information from the public.
Global: Oxfam ex-chairman and former Guatemala president to face corruption trial
Deutsche Welle (2 March)
Israel: Israeli police question Netanyahu in corruption case
Reuters (2 March)
Ukraine: Ukraine moves closer to anticorruption court, but doubts remain
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (TI mention, 1 March)
Global: Slovakia police detain Italians named in murdered journalist’s last report
The Guardian (1 March)
UK: ‚Politically exposed person‘ ordered to show they bought £22m British properties legally
The Independent (TI mention, 28 February)
USA: Kushner’s overseas contacts raise concerns as foreign officials seek leverage
Washington Post (27 February)
Source: Transparency International
One in five of the journalists killed since 2012 were covering a corruption story.