- Brazil’s Minister of Justice Under Fire Over Leaked Exchanges: Leaked messages have raised doubts about Brazil’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro’s impartiality in overseeing the Operation Car Wash anti-corruption investigation. The leaked messages include exchanges between Moro, who was the judge that imprisoned former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the lead prosecutor in that case. The messages show that Moro made suggestions to the prosecutor about the focus, pace, and sequence of the investigators’ work. Moro and the prosecutor have maintained that nothing in the released messages indicates any wrongdoing on their part. The leaked messages were leaked to publication The Intercept which has promised to release more material soon, as they have only been able to examine a tiny fraction of the material so far. Lula’s legal team said that the leaked messages proved what they argued in court: that judge Moro and prosecutors cooperated to ensure Lula would be found guilty quickly and banned from the federal elections. Read more:
- Fiat Chrysler sued by whistleblower U.S. sales chief: Reid Bigland, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. sales chief, has sued the automaker claiming that the company withheld 90 percent of his 2018 compensation because he cooperated with a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The probe concerned the company’s sales reporting practices prior to changes made in July 2016, according to the company. Bigland is alleging that his candor with investigators and “unwillingness to act as a scapegoat for defendants’ 30-year practice which predated him” resulted in the company retaliating in the form of withholding compensation. Fiat Chrysler has refused to comment on the suit. The company indicated in its 2018 annual report that it continues to cooperate with the investigation but that the outcome in “uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time”.
- World Bank debars Chinese construction company: A Chinese state-owned engineering and construction company and two subsidiaries were debarred by the World Bank late last week for “fraudulent practices” involving a project in Georgia. The company is the China Railways Construction Corporation LtD (CRCC) and two of its wholly-owned subsidiaries which operate internationally. The companies were debarred for nine months. The debarment is part of a settlement with the three companies related to misconduct during the procurement process for a highway construction contract. 730 controlled affiliates will also be debarred. China Railways 20th Bureau Group Co. and its controlled affiliates are excluded from the settlements, since they reached a separate agreement with the World Bank in 2017. The debarment is eligible for cross-debarment by other development banks.
- Former Russian anti-corruption official jailed for 13 years: Dmitry Zakharchenko, the former deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s economic security and anti-corruption office, was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment for corruption offenses.He was found guilty of large-scale bribery and obstruction of justice. Authorities seized around USD 120 million when searching his apartment in 2017. Zakharchenko was also accused of accepting a USD 12,000 vacation from a businessman in addition to a previous conviction for receiving bribes from another businessman, who gave him a discount card that allowed him to save USD 46,000 at the businessman’s restaurant.
- Ex-Pakistan president arrested in money-laundering case: Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s former president, was arrested by Pakistan’s anti-corruption body in relation to a multi-million dollar money laundering case. Zardari has been accused, along with his sister, of owning a company that received suspicious transactions through fake bank accounts. Zardari’s supporters are alleging that current Prime Minister Imran Khan is carrying out retribution against Zardari in a bid to deflect attending from the government’s performance on the economy.