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Corruption rampant in Democracies? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:00:52 |Display all floors
From Foreign Policy
Is there an epidemic of corruption in the world's democracies? While we normally associate bribery, cronyism, and extortion with fragile developing states, the leaders of some of the world's most stable and prosperous democracies have recently been investigated on criminal charges.


The target: President Nicolas Sarkozy

The alleged crimes: Illegal cash payments

The investigation: French prosecutors recently investigated allegations that Sarkozy illegally received cash in unmarked envelopes from Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman, as a presidential candidate in 2007.

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:02:12 |Display all floors

The target: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

The alleged crimes: Corruption, organized crime

The investigation: Berlusconi claims with pride that he is "the most legally persecuted man of all time." More than 109 cases have been brought against him, ranging from nonpayment of taxes to false accounting, bribery to prostitution. By his own count, he has been subjected to more than 2,500 court hearings. But despite the best efforts of prosecutors and political opponents, the 73-year-old Berlusconi seems unlikely to ever see the inside of a jail cell or be forced to step down.

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:02:44 |Display all floors
Originally posted by mollyshan at 2010-7-14 12:00
From Foreign Policy
Is there an epidemic of corruption in the world's democracies? While we normally associate bribery, cronyism, and extortion with fragile developing states, the leaders of some  ...

It happens....  In every country, in companies, in the streets, in posh restos to run-down ones...
  not just in democratic countries...  
it's everywhere....  everywhere....

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:03:37 |Display all floors

The target: President Lee Myung-bak

The alleged crimes: Illegal surveillance

The investigation: South Korea's corruption problems grabbed the world's attention in dramatic and grisly fashion when former President Roh Moo-hyun -- who was under investigation for taking bribes -- committed suicide by jumping off a cliff near his home in May 2009.

The widening corruption investigation was halted after Roh's death, but his successor is now facing legal problems of his own. Prosecutors raided the offices of government ethics investigators last week over allegations that they had been monitoring a prominent businessman. These investigators were tasked only with monitoring government corruption, but had apparently launched a probe into the businessman after he posted an internet video critical of President Lee.

The prime minister has already offered his resignation as Lee's government goes through a reshuffle following an embarrassing electoral setback and widespread criticism over its handling of the sinking of the naval warship Cheonan. Lee has ordered a full investigation into the surveillance allegations, but some media are reporting that the president himself ordered the businessman to be monitored.

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:04:22 |Display all floors

The target: Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

The alleged crimes: Bribe-taking

The investigation: With internal probes into the 2008 offensive in Gaza and the controversial boarding of a pro-Palestinian flotilla earlier this year, Israel certainly doesn't lack for high-profile investigations. But the country is riveted by the ongoing corruption investigation against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was plagued by corruption charges throughout his term. New York businessman Morris Talansky claims he gave Olmert more than $150,000 for his campaign for mayor of Jerusalem in 1997, but the money was spent on fine hotels, cigars, and watches.

Perhaps more shockingly, Olmert is accused of charging multiple nonprofit groups -- including a charity for the disabled and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial -- for the same fundraising trips. Olmert announced his resignation in 2008 and was charged with fraud a year later.

He has yet to be convicted, but investigations are ongoing. Most recently, Olmert was questioned over accusations that he accepted bribes in exchange for helping win contracts for a Jerusalem real estate developer. His administration didn't come off looking that clean either: A finance minister was investigated for embezzlement, a justice minister resigned after being convicted for sexual harassment, and President Moshe Katsav resigned amid scandal after allegations of sexual assault.

Olmert is the first Israeli head of government to be indicted on corruption charges, though current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the subject of investigations in the past. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also under investigation for a number of crimes, including bribery, fraud, and money-laundering.

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Post time 2010-7-14 12:05:07 |Display all floors

The target: Former President Chen Shui-bian

The alleged crimes: Corruption, embezzlement

The investigation: Chen was named as a suspect in a $450,000 embezzlement case within hours of stepping down as president of Taiwan in 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment less than a year later -- an ignominious end to the political career of the once renowned human-rights-lawyer-turned-politician.

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