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Friday, 23 November 2018

Judge rules no jurisdiction over Ukrainian bank fraud case

Mr Justice Fancourt at the High Court of England and Wales has ruled that the court does not have jurisdiction over a fraud case brought by the Ukrainian lender Privat Bank against its two former shareholders, according to a press release from the bank

PrivatBank filed a case in December 2017 alleging that its former shareholders, Ukrainian nationals Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov, defrauded the bank of millions of dollars before the lender was forcibly privatised in December 2016.

The two deny the allegations.

“This judgment is just the first stage of the process and the Bank intends to appeal the decision,” PrivatBank said in the statement.

Venezuela prosecutes 30 attorneys for corruption

Venezuela’s Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, reported on 22 November that his office has prosecuted 30 of its own attorneys over allegations of corruptionincluding allegations that they accepted bribes to end cases, according to local reports. 

Saab said that 25 of the prosecutors are currently in detention and that 19 of them have been given prison sentences.  

During Saab’s tenure, more than 1,000 people have reportedly been arrested for acts of corruption, including nearly a hundred senior officials of the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela.

Colombia proposes 20-year ban for Odebrecht

Colombia’s government has reportedly asked the nation’s Attorney General’s Office to ban Brazilian construction company Odebrecht from bidding on state contracts for 20 years.

Colombia’s vice president, Marta Lucia Ramirez, reportedly announced a petition on 19 October that said Odebrecht “caused a serious detriment in public finances and has been the source of serious damage to public ethics”.

The office alleges Odebrecht paid $30 million in bribes to Colombian officials, according to reports. 

In a $2.6 billion settlement with US, Swiss and Brazilian authorities in 2016, Odebrecht admitted to paying $11 million in bribes in Colombia.

ASIC chair welcomes proposal for independent oversight body

The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), James Shipton, has welcomed a proposal to establish an independent body to oversee the corporate regulator, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The paper reports that the idea was put forward by Rowena Orr QC, senior counsel to the Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Superannuation and Financial Services, on the final day of a week of hearings.

The commission recently criticised ASIC for not taking companies to court and instead relies on negotiated resolutions.

“I want to make it crystal clear we will be undertaking more court-based actions,” Shipton reportedly told the commission. 

He also pledged to sue more individual bankers and consider criminal actions.

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