Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong has been questioned for a second time as a suspect in South Korea’s biggest political corruption scandal.
Prosecutors are expected to decide based on the hearing whether they will seek an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong.
Samsung is accused of giving donations to non-profit foundations run by a confidante of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors.
Lee Jae-yong told reports before the hearing: “I will once again tell the truth.”
He had already been questioned with several other company executives in January but a subsequent court ruling decided there were insufficient grounds for an arrest.
Image source Wikimedia
Yet during the past weeks investigators reviewed the case and decided there were new aspects that required further questioning.
The claims against Samsung revolve around a merger between the electronics giant’s construction arm, Samsung C&T, and an affiliate company, Cheil Industries.
The prosecution alleges that Samsung gave 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) to a company co-owned by President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Soon-sil and her daughter, in return for political support for the deal.
The scandal led to President Park Geun-hye being impeached in December 2016.
Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y. Lee, first gave evidence in front of a parliamentary hearing in December 2016. Since January he has been treated as an official suspect in the case.
At the parliamentary hearing, Samsung admitted giving a total of 20.4 billion won ($17.46 million) to the two foundations, but denied seeking favors in return.
Lee Jae-yong also confirmed Samsung gave a horse and money to help the equestrian career of Choi Soon-sil’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, something he said he now regretted.
Choi Soon-sil is on trial for charges including corruption and coercion.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak has been cleared of corruption in a long-running financial scandal that has gripped the country.
According to the attorney-general’s office, the $681 million that Najib Razak received in his bank account was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family.
Critics had alleged the money came from state-owned investment fund 1MDB.
Najib Razak has consistently denied these accusations, but has faced pressure to resign over them.
Anti-corruption officials have previously said he received money as a gift from a foreign funder.
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a press statement on January 26 that the amount was a “personal donation” from the royal family in Saudi Arabia, transferred between the end of March and early April 2013.
He added that anti-corruption officials had met witnesses including the person they identified as the donor to confirm it.
“I am satisfied that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly,” Mohamed Apandi Ali said, adding that evidence did not show the donation was used as an “inducement or reward” for Najib Razak to do anything in his capacity as prime minister.
Malaysia held its last general election in May 2013, which returned Najib Razak’s party to power but with one of its poorest showings on record.
The attorney general also said no criminal offence was committed by Najib Razak in relation to three other related investigations and that no further action would be taken.
Israel’s ex-PM Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for bribery.
Ehud Olmert, 70, had been sentenced to six years by a lower court in 2014, but this was reduced by the Supreme Court.
He was convicted over a real estate deal that took place while he served as mayor of Jerusalem, prior to becoming prime minister in 2006.
Ehud Olmert, who stepped down in 2009, will become the first former Israeli head of government to go to prison.
He is due to begin his sentence on February 15.
The Supreme Court acquitted Ehud Olmert of receiving a 500,000-shekel ($130,000) bribe from the developers of Holyland, a controversial block of flats in Jerusalem, after he appealed against the March 2014 conviction.
A separate conviction of illicitly taking a 60,000-shekel payment for another project was upheld.
Ehud Olmert said following the ruling: “A heavy weight was lifted from my chest today, when the Supreme Court exonerated me of the main charge, of Holyland.
“No bribe was ever offered to me and I never accepted one.”
Several other government officials and businesspeople were convicted alongside Ehud Olmert in 2014.
The judge at the time said he was guilty of “moral turpitude”.
In a separate case, Ehud Olmert was sentenced earlier this year to eight months in prison for fraud and breach of trust for accepting illegal payments from an American businessman.
The Supreme Court is yet to rule on Ehud Olmert’s appeal in that case.
Ex-United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe has been arrested in New York after being charged with taking $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng.
New York prosecutors said John Ashe “converted the UN into a platform for profit” as he helped real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng gain government contracts.
John Ashe is accused of taking $1.3 million and spending the cash on luxury goods.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked and deeply troubled” by the allegations.
“In return for Rolex watches, a basketball court and bespoke suits, John Ashe sold himself and the global institution he led,” said US Federal Attorney Preet Bharara.
“United by greed, they converted the UN into a platform for profit.”
Prosecutors say John Ashe used his position as permanent resident to the UN for Antigua and Barbuda and General Assembly head to introduce a United Nations document supporting a multibillion-dollar UN-sponsored conference centre that Ng Lap Seng hoped to build as his legacy in Macau, where he lived.
The conference centre was supposed to function as a satellite operation for the world body.
The scheme unfolded between 2011 and 2014, including John Ashe’s tenure as General Assembly head, prosecutors said.
John Ashe also set up meetings with government officials in Antigua and Kenya to help the real estate developers land big development contracts, Preet Bharara said.
He is also said to have evaded tax on the bribe money he received and allowed the businesspeople pay for him and his family to stay at an $850-a-night hotel in New Orleans.
John Ashe was arrested on October 6. Five others including Ng Lap Seng are also being held.
They include another diplomat, Francis Lorenzo from the Dominican Republic, and two naturalized US citizens who live in China who allegedly helped facilitate the scheme, who have been charged with offences including bribery of a UN official and conspiracy to launder money.
Preet Bharara said the investigation was continuing and more arrests were likely.
China’s former Ministry of Public Security Zhou Yongkang has been jailed for life after being found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and “intentionally disclosing national secrets”, Xinhua news agency reports.
Zhou Yongkang – the most senior politician to face corruption charges under Communist rule.
Until his retirement in 2012, Zhou Yongkang was one of China’s most powerful men.
Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation one year later as part of President Xi Jinping’s major anti-corruption campaign.
State TV showed a clip of Zhou Yongkang, 72, pleading guilty at a closed-door trial in the northern city of Tianjin. When responding to the judge, he said he would not launch an appeal.
Zhou Yongkang said: “I’ve realized the harm I’ve caused to the party and the people. I plead guilty and I regret my crimes.”
He was tried behind closed doors on May 22 because the case involved state secrets, Xinhua agency reports. There was no public announcement until the conviction was reported on June 11.
In a breakdown of the ruling, Xinhua reports that Zhou Yongkang received a life sentence for accepting bribes worth 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), seven years for abuse of power and four years for “deliberately releasing state secrets”.
All political rights have been stripped and his property confiscated, the news agency added.
Zhou Yongkang was charged in April, nine months after a formal investigation was announced.
He has since been expelled from the Communist Party.
Zhou Yongkang was once head of the Ministry of Public Security, as well as a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.
It is the first time such a senior Chinese figure has been convicted of corruption since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.
President Xi Jinping vowed to end endemic corruption when he came to power in 2012.
Since then, a number of Zhou Yongkang’s former associates from his time working in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province have been investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.
The Xinhua report did not refer to Bo Xilai, a former protégé of Zhou Yongkang’s and former Chongqing Communist Party chief, who is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Alejandro Burzaco, who is wanted by the US in connection with the investigation into allegations of corruption at soccer’s governing body FIFA, has turned himself in to police in Italy.
The Argentine was the president of Argentine sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias and one of 14 current and ex-FIFA officials and associates indicted over the scandal.
Interpol had issued an alert requesting Alejandro Burzaco’s arrest.
Alejandro Burzaco disappeared following the arrest of seven FIFA executives on May 27.
Swiss media reported that Alejandro Burzaco was not in his room when police acting on extradition requests from US authorities raided a hotel in the Swiss city of Zurich, but was having breakfast and so was not arrested.
Alejandro Burzaco, who also has Italian citizenship, walked into a police station in the northern Italian city of Borzano along with his two lawyers on June 9.
He is being held in a cell in Borzano police station, officials told Spanish news agency EFE.
The DoJ alleges that Alejandro Burzaco conspired to win and keep hold of lucrative media rights contracts from regional football federations by paying up to $110 million in bribes.
An Argentine judge ordered Alejandro Burzaco’s arrest after he was named in the US indictment for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.
Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi warned Alejandro Burzaco and two more indicted Argentine sports executives, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, that they would be considered fugitives if they did not turn themselves in.
The whereabouts of father and son Hugo and Mariano Jinkis is currently unknown.
Interpol issued “red notices” for their arrest, along with Alejandro Burzaco and three others, on June 1.
Alejandro Burzaco was dismissed from Torneos y Competencias on June 3.
Torneos y Competencias has denied any involvement in the alleged bribery.
Zhou Yongkang, who oversaw China’s security apparatus and law enforcement institutions, has been charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets, state media report.
The former security chief was, until his retirement in 2012, one of China’s most powerful men.
Zhou Yongkang headed the Ministry of Public Security and was a member of China’s top decision-making body.
Once Xi Jinping took over as president in 2013, however, Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation.
A formal probe was announced in July 2014, after months of rumors, and he has since been expelled from the Communist Party.
Zhou Yongkang’s case had been sent to a court in Tianjin, a northern port city, Xinhua news agency reported.
The head of China’s top court said last month he would have an “open trial”, though no date has been announced.
In a brief statement, China’s top prosecution body said that the allegations against Zhou Yongkang were “extraordinarily severe”.
“The defendant Zhou Yongkang… took advantage of his posts to seek gains for others and illegally took huge property and assets from others, abused his power, causing huge losses to public property and the interests of the state and the people,” the statement said.
Zhou Yongkang, who is in his 70s, is the most senior official to be targeted in decades.
He was previously one of nine members of China’s highest organ, the Politburo Standing Committee. It has since shrunk to seven members.
Zhou Yongkang has not been seen in public since late 2013, when rumors of a probe first emerged.
A number of his former associates from his time both in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province are already being investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.
Zhou Yongkang’s former protégé, former Chongqing Communist Party chief and high-flyer Bo Xilai, is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Analysts say the investigation into Zhou Yongkang allows Xi Jinping – who took office as president in March 2013 – to consolidate his power base, remove people opposed to his reforms and improve the image of the Communist Party.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has received a record $490 million fine after a Chinese court found it guilty of bribery.
The record penalty follows allegations the pharmaceutical giant paid out bribes to doctors and hospitals in order to have their products promoted.
The court gave GSK’s former head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly, a suspended three-year prison sentence and he is set to be deported.
Other GSK executives have also been given suspended jail sentences.
The guilty verdict was delivered after a one-day trial at a court in Changsha, according to the Xinhua news agency.
GSK has received a record $490 million fine after a Chinese court found it guilty of bribery
Chinese authorities first announced they were investigating GSK in July last year, in what has become the biggest corruption scandal to hit a foreign firm in years. The company was accused of having made an estimated $150 million in illegal profits
GSK said it had “published a statement of apology to the Chinese government and its people”.
“Reaching a conclusion in the investigation of our Chinese business is important, but this has been a deeply disappointing matter for GSK,” said GSK CEO Andrew Witty in a statement.
“We have and will continue to learn from this. GSK has been in China for close to a hundred years and we remain fully committed to the country and its people,” he said.
“We will also continue to invest directly in the country to support the government’s health care reform agenda and long-term plans for economic growth.”
Former attorneys general in Utah, John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, have been arrested on bribery charges, authorities say.
John Swallow, 51, and Mark Shurtleff, 56, are accused of accepting cash or campaign contributions from people facing potential scrutiny by the attorney general’s office.
Both men are also accused of attempting to cover up the alleged schemes.
If convicted, they face more than 15 years in prison. Both men have publicly maintained their innocence.
“This is a sad day for Utah,” Utah Governor Gary Herbert wrote in a statement.
Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow are accused of accepting cash or campaign contributions from people facing potential scrutiny by the attorney general’s office (photo Tribune)
“The entire situation, regardless of how the legal process plays out, is a black eye for our state.”
Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested at their homes on Tuesday morning, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told reporters, adding the investigation was ongoing and more charges may be filed.
John Swallow currently faces 13 charges including felony bribery, and Mark Shurtleff faces 10 charges.
Both are accused of accepting more than $50,000, as well as using personal property including a luxury jet and houseboat owned by a businessman in trouble with regulators.
They also allegedly stayed at an expensive beach resort, and accepted meals, clothing and massages paid for by another man charged with fraud by the Utah attorney general’s office months ago.
Mark Shurtleff was dogged by allegations of corruption while in office, departing in 2013 when John Swallow, his chief deputy, took the helm.
John Swallow resigned later that same year, claiming the scrutiny was too much for his family.
Probes by the US Department of Justice, the state bar and Utah elections officials were launched, and an investigation conducted by Utah lawmakers found John Swallow destroyed or fabricated records while in office.
“I absolutely maintain my innocence. We refute the charges,” John Swallow told reporters on Tuesday as he left jail.
“This finally gives us the opportunity to start to respond back.”
British national Peter Humphrey and his wife Yu Ying Zeng, an American national, have been charged with illegally obtaining private information in GSK China bribery case, Xinhua news agency said.
Peter Humphrey and Yu Ying Zeng were arrested in China in August 2013.
His company, ChinaWhys, was hired by GlaxoSmithKline China, which is embroiled in controversy over alleged systematic bribery of Chinese doctors.
Prosecutors say the couple “illegally trafficked a huge amount of personal information on Chinese citizens” for profit, Xinhua reported.
They obtained this information by “secret photography, infiltration or tailing after someone”, it said.
Peter Humphrey has been charged with illegally obtaining private information in GSK China bribery case
“Based on the information, the couple compiled so-called <<reports>> and sold them at high prices to their clients, most of which are China-based multinational corporations, including GSK China,” it said.
Local courts “will hold [a] hearing about the case soon”, the agency added.
In a statement earlier this month, GSK said that its China operation hired ChinaWhys in April 2013 “to conduct an investigation following a serious breach of privacy and security related to the company’s China general manager”.
This is understood to relate to a s** tape said to have shown the general manager, Mark Reilly, who said the footage was filmed without his knowledge or consent.
The video was sent to GSK’s London-based CEO Andrew Witty with an email accusing Mark Reilly of being behind systematic corruption in the company’s China operation.
Mark Reilly is currently being investigated by Chinese authorities, as are at least two other senior GSK China executives. He is alleged to have pressed his sales team to bribe doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to increase sales of GSK products.
He is currently effectively detained in China, and has made no recent comment.
GSK has described the allegations as “deeply concerning”.
“We are learning lessons from this situation and we are determined to take all actions necessary as a result,” it said in the statement.
Allegations that GSK systematically bribed doctors in China are credible, says Peter Humphrey, an investigator hired by the pharmaceutical giant.
Peter Humphrey was hired only to investigate who was behind a suspected smear campaign against GSK.
After he finished his report, the investigator learned the details of further allegations against the company and told colleagues he believed they were true.
The allegations against GSK’s China operation first emerged in an email in January 2013 from an anonymous and self-styled whistleblower to the company.
The email alleges that GSK’s sales teams targeted influential doctors with expensive gifts and cash to win business.
Four senior executives and the former head of GSK China have been detained by Chinese police
It also alleges that some doctors were sent on all expenses-paid holidays masquerading as conferences. The payments were funneled as fictional expenses through a travel agent.
Peter Humphrey’s company, ChinaWhys, was hired to try to indentify who the anonymous whistleblower was. GSK China suspected a former senior staff member, Vivian Shi Wen, who was dismissed at the end of 2012.
Vivian Shi Wen has previously denied being the GSK whistleblower.
Since the case came to light, four senior GSK executives have been detained by Chinese police and the former head of GSK China, Mark Reilly, is also effectively detained. Peter Humphrey will stand trial later this year for illegally buying and selling private information.
What is notable about the documents is not just the scale of the allegations against the company, but also the detail within them. The whistleblower’s email alleges that the company’s aggressive marketing strategies “constitute bribery in the vast majority of cases”. It further alleges:
GSK falsified its records to conceal illegal practices including bribery and promoting the use of drugs for not yet approved purposes
The practice of giving cash to doctors to sell products was common
GSK fabricated an internal “compliance” scheme which effectively covered up widespread corruption
GSK failed to investigate its entire sales team
The email names specific doctors and hospitals and also quotes individual GSK executives and their private email accounts.
GSK said in a statement that its own investigation had not found evidence to back the claims in the email.
“Our China business is now subject to an ongoing investigation by the Chinese authorities with which we are fully cooperating. We have also hired an external law firm, Ropes and Gray, to conduct an independent review into what happened in our China business during this period,” the statement said.
Bribery is widely believed to be endemic in China’s pharmaceutical sector, which has witnessed explosive growth in recent years.
While GSK has accepted that individual employees in China may have behaved inappropriately in China, it has consistently denied they acted on instructions of the company. If the company were found to be liable, it could face enormous fines from UK and US authorities who have fierce anti-bribery regulations.
British GSK executive Mark Reilly has been accused by the Chinese police of ordering staff to bribe hospital officials to use its medical products.
Mark Reilly and two other colleagues are also suspected of bribing government officials in Beijing and Shanghai, they said.
Police have handed the case over to prosecutors, officials said.
GlaxoSmithKline said it took the allegations “very seriously” and would co-operate with the authorities over the matter.
Mark Reilly is alleged to have pressed his sales team to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK products
Chinese authorities announced in July last year that they were investigating GSK, detaining four Chinese GSK executives.
The police ministry accused Mark Reilly, the company’s former head of China operations, of personally running a “massive bribery network”.
He is alleged to have pressed his sales team to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK products, resulting in the “illegal revenue” of hundreds of millions of dollars.
At a news conference, the investigators took pains to explain how the cost of the alleged bribes was passed directly on to Chinese consumers.
They said the cost of the drugs sold by GSK in China was much higher than that of similar drugs sold by the company in other countries – sometimes up to seven times higher.
The investigators also said that while the company itself had been “very responsible and has given us their full support”, the firm’s operation in China “tried to pay bribes” in order to “obstruct” their efforts “in exposing their bribery behaviors”.
Mark Reilly had briefly left China when the investigation was launched last July, but returned to help with the inquiry. A police investigator was believed to still be in China.
The Chinese operation of GSK was accused by the Chinese authorities, when the probe first began, of using travel agencies and consultancies to transfer bribes over several years.
GSK has already apologized for employees apparently acting outside of its internal controls, but denies the sums of money are anything like as high as those alleged to have been paid.
The pharmaceutical giant is also facing a criminal investigation into similar allegations in Poland.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to six years in prison for bribery and fined 1 million shekels ($289,000).
Ehud Olmert’s spokesman said he would appeal to the Supreme Court and ask to be freed on bail until it had ruled. He had sought a non-custodial sentence.
He would be the first former head of government in Israel to be jailed.
Ehud Olmert, 68, was convicted in March over a real estate deal that took place while he served as mayor of Jerusalem.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to six years in prison for bribery
The Tel Aviv District Court found him guilty of two bribery charges and said he had accepted 500,000 shekels ($145,000) from the developers of a controversial apartment complex, known as Holyland, and another 60,000 shekels in a separate real estate project.
On Tuesday, Judge Uri Rozen said bribery offences “contaminate the public sector” and “cause the structure of government to collapse”.
He added: “People who receive bribes give rise to a feeling of disgust and cause the public to despise the state’s institutions. The taker of bribes is like a traitor who betrays the public trust that was given to him – trust without which a proper public service cannot be maintained.”
Ehud Olmert’s spokesman, Amir Dan, insisted he was innocent.
“This is a sad day where a serious and unjust verdict is expected to be delivered against an innocent man,” he said.
Ehud Olmert served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, until a flurry of corruption allegations led to his resignation.
He was acquitted of most of the major charges eventually brought against him by prosecutors but was also found guilty of breach of trust and given a one-year suspended jail sentence.
Ehud Olmert was found to have made decision when he was minister of trade and industry that benefited clients of a close associate.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors.
Eleven doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012, BBC reported.
A former sales rep said doctors were paid to promote GSK’s asthma drug Seretide.
GSK said one employee had been disciplined and it was co-operating with investigations.
If the allegations are proved, GSK may have violated both the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is illegal for companies based in either country to bribe government employees abroad.
A former sales rep for GSK in the Polish region of Lodz, Jarek Wisniewski, said: “There is a simple equation.”
“We pay doctors, they give us prescriptions. We don’t pay doctors, we don’t see prescriptions for our drugs.
“We cannot go to doctors and say to them, <<I need 20 more prescriptions>>. So we prepare an agreement for them to give a talk to patients, we pay £100 [$150], but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug,” he told BBC program, Panorama.
GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors (photo Reuters)
“It’s a bribe,” Jarek Wisniewski said, confirming that although on paper the payments were for educational services, the doctors understood very clearly that they must produce a certain number of prescriptions in return.
The Lodz public prosecutor found evidence in documents given to doctors by GSK to support claims of corrupt payments in more than a dozen different health centers where there was no evidence “patient education” had taken place.
Spokesman Krzysztof Kopania said: “We have evidence that in more than a dozen cases it was a camouflaged form of a bribe.
“In return for the financial gains the doctors would favor the product proposed by the pharmaceutical company and they prescribed that medicine.”
One doctor has already admitted guilt, been fined and given a suspended sentence. He said he accepted £100 for a single lecture he never gave, but only under pressure from a GSK drugs rep.
The company said a GSK training program to help improve diagnostic standards and medical training in respiratory disease was run by doctors in Poland from 2010 to 2012.
A statement said: “These sessions were delivered by specialist healthcare professionals who, based on contracts signed with GSK, received payments appropriate to the scope of work as well as their level of knowledge and experience. The provision of sessions under this programme was agreed with the Polish healthcare centers.
“Following receipt of allegations regarding the conduct of the program in the Lodz region, GSK has investigated the matter, using resources from both inside and outside the company. The investigation found evidence of inappropriate communication in contravention of GSK policy by a single employee. The employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a result.
“We continue to investigate these matters and are co-operating fully with the CBA [Poland’s Central Anticorruption Office].”
In 2012, GSK paid $3 billion in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history after pleading guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Last December, GSK announced it was making major changes to its incentive schemes after a damaging corruption scandal in China.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been convicted of bribery in a case which forced him to resign to office in 2008.
Ehud Olmert was convicted in what is known as the “Holyland affair” in which bribes were paid and received to speed up a luxury property development.
Ehud Olmert has been convicted of bribery in a case which forced him to resign to office in 2008 (photo Flash90)
The 68-year-old former prime minister has already been cleared in several other corruption trials.
He had denied wrongdoing and had hinted at a political comeback.
Delivering the verdict in Tel Aviv on Monday, Judge David Rozen said the case “exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years”, with bribes paid to public officials,” the Associated Press news agency reported.
Former Kadima party leader Ehud Olmert succeeded Ariel Sharon as prime minister after the latter had a stroke in January 2006. He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
In 2012, Ehud Olmert was cleared of two major corruption charges but convicted of illegally granting favors to a business friend during his time as trade and industry minister under Ariel Sharon.
Indian government has put on hold all deals with Rolls-Royce until it completes an investigation into bribery allegations against the company, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
A federal agency is probing allegations that Rolls-Royce paid bribes for supply of aircraft engines.
Rolls-Royce said it would “cooperate fully” with Indian authorities.
The company is the world’s second biggest manufacturer of aircraft engines.
India’s defense ministry had put on hold all “existing and future” contracts with Rolls-Royce pending the results of an investigation by the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the purchase of jet fighter engines in a deal worth $1.6 billion, PTI reported.
Indian government has put on hold all deals with Rolls-Royce until it completes an investigation into bribery allegations against the company
The Rolls-Royce engines were supplied to the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) between 2007 and 2011, reports said.
“There was an internal vigilance report [by HAL] that suggested there were discrepancies in the deal. The CBI will look into that,” the AFP news agency quoted a defense official as saying.
A Rolls-Royce spokesman said the company would cooperate with the inquiry.
“We have repeatedly made clear that we will not tolerate misconduct of any sort,” PTI quoted the spokesman as saying.
Rolls-Royce said last year that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was investigating allegations of possible bribery in China and Indonesia.
Last month, two people were arrested in London as part of an SFO investigation into the firm’s activities in Asia.
The office said at the end of last year it had opened a formal investigation into the engine maker about bribery and corruption in overseas markets.
The Rolls-Royce probe is the latest controversy to hit India’s defense purchases.
Croatian authorities have charged pharmaceutical company Farmal and 364 people – most of them reportedly doctors – for allegedly rigging the drugs market.
Senior managers at Farmal bribed a network of doctors and pharmacists to prescribe the company’s products, officials said.
They have been charged with bribery, abuse of power and corruption.
Local media said the indictment was the biggest of its kind in Croatia’s judicial history.
Correspondents say the health system could have collapsed if all the doctors implicated were sacked. There are around 5,000 doctors in Croatia.
Many of those charged were given probation fines as a result, local media reported.
Croatian authorities have charged Farmal and 364 people for allegedly rigging the drugs market
In a statement, Croatia’s anti-corruption agency Uskok said the top management of Farmal, based in the northern town of Ludbreg, was charged with bribing “medical workers”, mostly primary care doctors and pharmacists, to “order and prescribe drugs produced” by the company.
“The charges are brought up against 364 Croatian citizens and Farmal pharmaceutical company for bribery, abuse of power and corruption,” it said.
The agency did not specify how many doctors have been charged, but local media reported that some 300 doctors have been indicted, according to AFP.
The suspects face up to five years’ imprisonment if convicted, the news agency said.
Doctors and pharmacists were offered bribes, including money and travel, worth between 5-10% of the medicines they prescribed, according to Sofia News Agency.
The crimes allegedly took place between 2009 and 2012.
The date for the trial has yet to be set.
Croatia has previously struggled with a widespread corruption problem but became a member of the EU in July after introducing a series of reforms.
Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of Senator Sergio De Gregorio.
Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is accused of paying left-wing Senator Sergio De Gregorio 3 million euros ($3.9 million) to defect to his right-wing People of Freedom party (PDL) in 2006 and help bring down the government.
Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of Senator Sergio De Gregorio
Senator Sergio De Gregorio was sentenced in an earlier plea bargain.
Silvio Berlusconi has been embroiled in a number of trials and says he is the victim of a campaign by the judiciary.
Chinese politician Bo Xilai is appealing against his life imprisonment sentence, reports say.
The former party chief of Chongqing was sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday. He was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.
Bo Xilai was removed from office last year amid a scandal which saw his wife Gu Kailai convicted for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
He denied all charges in a vigorous defense at his trial.
The downfall of Bo Xilai – who had been seen as a candidate for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top decision-making body – was the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades.
Bo Xilai is appealing against his life imprisonment sentence
“He informed the court yesterday of his request for an appeal following the verdict,” AFP news agency quoted a lawyer with “direct knowledge” of the case as saying.
Another unnamed source quoted by the news agency said Bo Xilai would appeal against the “entire verdict”.
Earlier, the ruling Communist Party said the life sentence given to Bo showed that no one was above the law.
“The resolute punishment of Bo Xilai according to law has fully shown that there are no exceptions in the face of party discipline and state laws,” a commentary in the party-run People’s Daily said.
Many analysts say the case was simply a legal way of getting rid of one of China’s most popular politicians.
Bo Xilai is reported to have erupted in anger as he was sentenced.
Bo Xilai was expected to lodge an appeal but correspondents say few think it will be successful.
Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to life imprisonment having the right to appeal.
Bo Xilai had denied all the charges against him in a fiery defense at his trial.
The former party chief of Chongqing was removed from office last year amid a scandal which saw his wife Gu Kailai convicted for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
The verdict was handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan, Shandong province.
Passing sentence the judge told Bo Xilai that he had damaged China’s national interests and the interests of its people, wrongfully using his position in power to receive bribes totalling 20 million Chinese Yuan ($3.2 million).
The judge rejected Bo Xilai’s claims that his confession to the crimes was acquired through illegal means such as torture and interrogation, and said it therefore stood.
During Bo Xilai’s trial last month the court took the unprecedented step of releasing details about proceedings on its Weibo microblog.
Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison on the bribery charges, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power. In addition all his personal wealth has been confiscated.
He has 10 days to appeal against his sentence and conviction, but correspondents say that any such move is highly unlikely to be successful.
Bo Xilai has been found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to life imprisonment
Although his trial was conducted under an unprecedented degree of openness for China, many analysts say that the guilty verdict was always a foregone conclusion – and many see the process against him as having a very strong political dimension.
Prosecutors had said that Bo Xilai accepted the bribes and embezzled public funds from Dalian, where he used to be mayor.
Bo Xilai was also accused of abusing his office by using his position to cover up for his wife Gu Kailai, convicted last year of murdering Neil Heywood in 2011.
In lengthy comments in court, he said he did not illegally obtain millions of dollars or cover up Neil Heywood’s killing.
He also dismissed the testimony of two key witnesses, describing his wife’s statement as “ridiculous” and his former police chief Wang Lijun’s testimony as “full of lies and fraud”.
Bo Xilai’s fall from power was triggered when Wang sought refuge in the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012.
The incident prompted an investigation into the death of Neil Heywood. Wang Lijun has since been jailed for 15 years for helping Gu Kailai cover up the murder.
The Bo Xilai scandal triggered a crisis in the Communist Party, which was about to hold its once-in-a-decade leadership handover, and revealed divisions at the top of the party over how Bo should be handled.
Two years ago Bo Xilai was seen as a candidate for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top decision-making body.
His downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades.
Bo Xilai’s trial also offered the public a rare glimpse into the life of China’s rich and powerful, with lurid details emerging of lavish vacations and luxury villas.
Earlier this week, an overseas-based dissident Chinese news website published a letter allegedly written by Bo Xilai in prison on September 12.
Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said that unidentified insiders with close ties to Bo Xilai had confirmed that the letter, addressed to Bo’s family, was genuine.
“I am an innocent victim and I feel wronged,” the letter read.
“But I believe one day truth will prevail…I will wait quietly in jail for that day to come.”
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors on a bribery charge.
The charge relates to a $44 million payment to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky of Bayern Landesbank. It was linked to the sale of a stake in F1.
Bernie Ecclestone said he had paid Gerhard Gribkowsky to avoid a UK tax inquiry into the sale of Formula 1 in 2006, but denied the payments were bribes.
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors on a bribery charge
Gerhard Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail in Munich.
Speaking to the Financial Times on Wednesday, Bernie Ecclestone said: “I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It’s being translated into English.”
Asked how he responded to the indictment, he said: “We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.”
Bernie Ecclestone said it was “inevitable” that the indictment had been served.
“If someone wants to sue you, they can do it and you have to defend it,” he said.
In 2006, Gerhard Gribkowsky was in charge of managing the sale of regional bank BayernLB’s 48% stake in Formula 1 to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which meant the firm owned most of the sport.
CVC has since reduced its stake in a series of deals.
In evidence to a Munich court in June last year, Gerhard Gribkowsky admitted that prosecution claims he had corruptly received $41.4 million in bank commissions, and a large payment via a family trust from Bernie Ecclestone, were “essentially true”.
In his testimony, Bernie Ecclestone said he had been worried that if he had not paid the money, Gerhard Gribkowsky would have alerted the UK tax authorities to “things” that might have led to a tax inquiry.
“The only alternative was that the British tax authorities followed a case that would have been very expensive for me,” said Bernie Ecclestone at the time.
“The tax risk would have exceeded £2 billion. I paid him to keep calm and not to do silly things.”
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has paid the US government $60 million to settle charges alleging it paid millions of dollars in bribes to build its business in Europe and China.
Employees made the payoffs to secure sales contracts for Pfizer products, according to court filings.
Healthcare officials “improperly rewarded”, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
The US drugs giant does not admit any guilt.
“Pfizer subsidiaries in several countries had bribery so entwined in their sales culture that they offered points and bonus programs to improperly reward foreign officials who proved to be their best customers,” said Kara Brockmeyer, chief of the SEC’s foreign enforcement division, which made the allegations.
Pfizer has paid the US government $60 million to settle charges alleging it paid millions of dollars in bribes to build its business in Europe and China
The countries involved are Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia.
However, the SEC said Pfizer officials had not been aware of the payments, and that its good co-operation over the charges meant there was no need for criminal prosecution.
Pfizer first disclosed the misconduct to SEC and Justice Department officials in October 2004, and cooperated with the government’s investigation.
The charges against Pfizer were brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars publicly traded companies from bribing officials in other countries to get or retain business.
In the past five years, the Justice Department has investigated a number of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that operate overseas in connection with the law.
Last year, Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay $70 million to settle civil and criminal charges of bribery brought by the Department of Justice.
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