Monday, June 20, 2005

Good countries to invest in? 'Criminal' justice systems.

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American Justice

From The Christian Science Monitor 12 August 2003:

"A Brooklyn mother, afraid she'd lost a custody battle, was approached by a man in a municipal building and told that with a little cash, the judge could be persuaded to see things her way...

Judge Gerald Garson was arrested on charges of accepting "money and gifts in exchange for giving preferential treatment" to him.

...Watchdog groups consider Brooklyn, New York, one of America's most corrupt judicial systems.

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Italian Justice

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4084717.stm
http://www.centreurope.org/overview/corruption_central_and_eastern_europe.htm

Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi had been accused of bribing judges in the 1980s to favour his business interests.

World Corruption index (2004 scores) Finland 9.7 Italy 4.8 Haiti 1,5

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Scottish Justice

It has been suggested that the CIA set up a drugs route from Europe to the United States called Operation Corea. This allowed Syrian drug dealers, led by Monzer al-Kassar (who was involved with Oliver North in Iran-Contra) to ship heroin to the U.S.

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27c/361.html

Scotland on Sunday, 8 April 2001:

"A United Nations observer at the Lockerbie trial has branded the verdicts in the case unfair, irrational and politically motivated, saying they should be overturned on appeal.

"In a scathing denunciation of the proceedings and the quality of Scottish justice, Professor Hans Koechler, a world-renowned expert in international law, claims there was no basis in evidence for the guilty verdict against one of the accused.

"Koechler, personally appointed by UN secretary general Kofi Annan to oversee the trial at Camp Zeist in Holland, said it was tainted by the air of international power politics and was neither fair nor balanced.

"The guilty verdict in regard to the first accused appears to be arbitrary, even irrational, his report states.

"The outcome of the trial may well have been determined by political considerations and may have been the result of a more or less openly -exercised influence... from outside the judicial framework.

"Koechler acknowledges that his condemnation of the trial may have a profound impact on the professional reputation and integrity of the three Scottish judges—Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and Maclean—but insists that the verdicts were unfair and adds that he hopes any appeal will correct the deficiencies of the trial. His report has been buried by both the UN and the Scottish authorities for the past two months.

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http://laksamana.net/vnews.cfm?ncat=25&news_id=8197

On 17 June 2005 the Editor of Laksamana.Net wrote about corruption cases dealt with by the South Jakarta District Court.

According to Laksamana, the court "has maintained its reputation as 'the graveyard of corruption cases' by finding Golkar Party legislator Nurdin Halid not guilty of embezzling Rp169.7 billion ($18 million) in state funds from the National Logistics Agency (Bulog)....

"(The) South Jakarta District Court has a reputation for handing down the best verdicts that money can buy...

"The case stemmed from Bank Indonesia’s decision in early 1998 to give Rp169.7 billion to Bulog, which in turn channeled the money to KDI to purchase and distribute cooking oil to the needy...

"Halid is from South Sulawesi, which is also the home province of Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

"South Jakarta District Court in September 2000 suspended a $571 million corruption case against former president Suharto after his doctors and lawyers argued he was permanently unfit to face trial.

"South Jakarta District Court in 1999 found Suharto’s youngest son Hutomo ‘Tommy’ Mandala Putra and tycoon Ricardo Gelael not guilty of corruption involving a 1995 land scam with Bulog that cost the state Rp95.4 billion.

"The Supreme Court in 2000 overturned the verdict and sentenced each of them to 18 months behind bars... Tommy sought a presidential pardon, failed to get it, went into hiding and murdered the judge who convicted him.

"South Jakarta District Court in 2000 freed former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency deputy chief Pande Lubis, tycoon Joko Tjandra and other businessmen of all charges in the Bank Bali corruption swindle that caused state losses of about $78 million.

"South Jakarta District Court in 2001 acquitted Zainal Abidin, a former Supreme Court official, who was accused of receiving Rp100 million in bribes.

"South Jakarta District Court in 2002 acquitted Sudjiono Timan, the former president director of state-owned investment firm PT Bahana Pembinaan Usaha Indonesia, of involvement in a swindle that cost the state $240.9 million.

"The Supreme Court in December 2004 sentenced him to 15 years in jail and ordered him to repay much the money, but some crooked police thoughtfully helped him to flee the country. He now apparently resides comfortably in Singapore.

"South Jakarta District Court in 1999 acquitted oil tycoon/politician Arifin Panigoro of charges related to state losses of $150 million linked to his Medco Group’s default on a foreign loan that had been guaranteed by state-owned company PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia (Jasindo)...

"South Jakarta District Court in – well you get the idea."

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