Sri Lanka jails former minister for saying judges are corrupt

An outspoken Sri Lankan opposition politician has been jailed for four years over his remarks alleging the majority of judges in the South Asian island nation were corrupt. Ranjan Ramanayake, a deputy minister of the United National Party before it was voted out in 2019, claimed he was being targeted for speaking out against corruption. The 57-year-old was sentenced on Tuesday to “rigorous imprisonment” by the Supreme Court for making the remarks in 2017 to reporters outside the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo. “We convict him for the offence of contempt of court and sentence him to four years … Continue reading Sri Lanka jails former minister for saying judges are corrupt

Mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz goes on trial in Guinea

A billionaire diamond magnate is to go on trial in Switzerland over allegations of corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea. Beny Steinmetz, who has Israeli and French nationality, has always denied his company paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea back in 2008. His lawyer says he will travel from Israel to Geneva to “plead his innocence”. If convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison. It is rare for major corruption cases to go to trial in Switzerland, where the 64-year-old is reported to be a former … Continue reading Mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz goes on trial in Guinea

China sentence tycoon Lai Xiaomin to death

The death penalty handed out to a former Chinese finance chief found guilty of corruption has been heavily criticised by human rights activists. Lai Xiaomin was arrested in 2018 on charges of taking 1.8bn yuan (£200m, $280m) in bribes over a 10-year period, it is one of the most severe sentences to stem from President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. Human Rights Watch said “China is clearly taking a major step backwards.” Chinese officials said crimes committed by Mr Lai were during his time as chairman of Huarong Asset Management. The financial firm was set up in 1999 to to take … Continue reading China sentence tycoon Lai Xiaomin to death

Israeli prosecutors detail corruption charges against Netanyahu

Israeli prosecutors have released an amended indictment spelling out detailed charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a corruption case in which he is accused of trading favours with a powerful media mogul. Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases. One of them alleges that Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the owner of the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage on its popular Walla news site. In response to a request from Netanyahu’s lawyers for more details, Israeli prosecutors released a letter on Sunday … Continue reading Israeli prosecutors detail corruption charges against Netanyahu

Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests key opposition leader

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a key opposition leader on charges of having assets higher than his known sources of income, a spokesman said. The arrest of Khawaja Asif, who served as foreign minister in the government of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, comes days after the opposition asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign until January 31 or face prolonged protests in the capital Islamabad. Pakistani opposition parties have been holding rallies across the country to pressure Khan to resign over his alleged failure to improve the country’s economy. In a brief statement, Nawazish Ali, … Continue reading Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests key opposition leader

About 3,000 Chinese expelled from Philippines amid $830m visa scam

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced the deportation of nearly 3,000 “erring Chinese” nationals for violating the conditions of their stay. The announcement is seen as an act of damage control after President Rodrigo Duterte administration officials were accused of selling visas in a multimillion-dollar scheme, earlier, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed that in 2017, Duterte-appointed officials amassed as much as 40 billion Philippine pesos ($833m) in bribes, mostly from Chinese nationals who wanted a seamless visa approval upon their arrival in the capital Manila. On Tuesday, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that a total of 2,736 Chinese … Continue reading About 3,000 Chinese expelled from Philippines amid $830m visa scam

Maldives ex-VP Ahmed Adeeb sentenced to 20 years for corruption

A court in the Maldives has sentenced former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb to 20 years in prison for corruption charges related to leasing tropical islands for hotel development, the 38-year-old, who pleaded guilty last month under a plea bargain, was also fined $129,892 on Monday. The Maldives Criminal Court charged Adeeb with embezzlement, money laundering and misuse of government authority among other offences, according to an order of Judge Hassan Saeed. According to an asset recovery commission formed by the current government, the islands in the popular holiday destination were sold below-market prices, as a result, the government lost nearly … Continue reading Maldives ex-VP Ahmed Adeeb sentenced to 20 years for corruption

Japan puts former aide of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn on trial

The trial of Greg Kelly, the former right-hand man of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, on charges of financial misconduct has begun in a Tokyo court. Kelly, who is accused of violating Japanese stock market requirements, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. The two ex-managers are accused of misrepresenting levels of remuneration in official reports to the Japanese stock exchange, and in Ghosn’s case, under-reporting them for years. On November 19, 2018, Ghosn and Kelly were arrested in Tokyo. While Kelly stayed in Japan, Ghosn fled to Lebanon. He reportedly hid in a musical instrument case to make his escape. The court … Continue reading Japan puts former aide of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn on trial

PRESIDENTIAL RASCALITY: Brazilians back reporter whom Bolsonaro ‘felt like punching’

There is a question you will see over and over if you log on to Twitter in Brazil on Monday. “President, why did your wife Michelle receive 89,000 reais ($16,000; £12,000) from Fabrício Queiroz?,” has been tweeted more than a million times. The question was originally directed by a reporter to President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday. The president responded by telling the journalist he “felt like covering your face in punches”. The president’s reaction has prompted hundreds of thousands of Brazilians to take to social media to taunt Mr Bolsonaro with the very question which so angered him in the … Continue reading PRESIDENTIAL RASCALITY: Brazilians back reporter whom Bolsonaro ‘felt like punching’

Uncharitable Canada

Bill Morneau: Canada finance minister quits amid charity probe Canada’s finance minister has said he will resign after conflict-of-interest allegations involving WE Charity. Bill Morneau has faced pressure to step down after it was revealed he did not repay travel costs covered by WE while on overseas trips to see its work. He said he recently realised he had not repaid the C$41,000 in expenses and has since written a cheque. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also facing scrutiny for his and his family’s involvement with the charity. Mr Morneau said he will step down from his position in the … Continue reading Uncharitable Canada