Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Monday, 09 July 2018

Petrobras lifts Odebrecht restrictions

Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras has lifted restrictions on doing business with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, according to a company filing.

Petrobras put the restrictions in place in December 2014 amid accusations that Odebrecht had bribed Petrobras employees.

In March, former Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine was found guilty of accepting 3 million reais ($924,660) in bribes from Odebrecht. He was jailed for 11 years.

Odebrecht agreed to pay $2.6 billion to Swiss, US and Brazilian authorities in December 2016, after admitting to bribing officials in 12 countries.

McKinsey apologies for “several errors in judgement”

Kevin Sneader, McKinsey’s global managing partner, has reportedly offered his “sincere apologies” for “several errors in judgement” in the consultancy’s representation of Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company.  

In a speech in Johannesburg on 9 July, Sneader reportedly said that the firm would repay the $74 million fee it received for acting for the company.

South African prosecutors allege that McKinsey secured the work for Eskom by agreeing to subcontract part of its work to a consultancy owned by the wealthy Gupta family. McKinsey has previously denied these allegations.

South African prosecutors are investigating the Gupta family over whether it used its ties to former South African President Jacob Zuma to win contracts.

Sacked Romanian prosecutor: “Corruption can be defeated”

Romania’s president has reportedly fired the country’s head anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Kövesi, after Romania’s constitutional court ruled in May that the president cannot oppose the justice minister’s request to dismiss her.

Kövesi has led the country’s anti-corruption agency since 2013 and conviction rates reportedly spiked under her leadership.

After hearing of her sacking, Kovesi reportedly said: “Today’s episode is not a defeat. Corruption can be defeated.”

In February, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader reportedly called for Kövesi’s firing, claiming she had exceeded her authority and was damaging Romania’s image.

The matter of whether President Klaus Iohannis could rebuff Toader’s request was sent to the constitutional court after the president refused to fire Kövesi in April.

Kenya’s top prosecutor says corrupt judges block anti-graft push

Kenya’s Chief Public Prosecutor, Noordin Mohamed Haji, has alleged that that efforts to prosecute corruption are being hampered by corrupt judges, in an interview with Reuters.

Haji, who took up the position in March, told Reuters: “If you have judicial officers who have been compromised and they rule against you, the argument will be the case was weak.”

The comments come on the back of a series of investigations into corruption. In May, Kenyan authorities charged 40 civil servants and 14 business executives with corruption tied to $80 million that has gone missing from the National Youth Service, a department that was created to solve youth unemployment.

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