Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Monday, 07 January 2019

Guatemala denies entry to UN corruption investigator

Authorities at Guatemala City airport are barring a researcher from the UN’s International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) from entering the country, according to reports

Immigration officials at the airport reportedly detained Yilen Osorio, from Colombia, shortly after his arrival on 5 January, adding to the growing friction between the Guatemalan government and the CICIG, which is investigating top government officials. 

The news comes after president Jimmy Morales refused to renew the commission’s mandate in September. That same month, Guatemala’s constitutional court ordered the president to allow the head of the CICIG to return to the country after his expulsion, which the court ruled unconstitutional in August 2017.  

The president’s office has not yet commented on the matter. 

JPMorgan says payments to Libyan officials were not bribes

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co has denied the Libyan Investment Authority’s (LIA) allegations that it bribed officials to win a 2007 bond deal, Bloomberg reports.

The bank has reportedly acknowledged that investment bank Bear Stearns, acquired by JPMorgan in 2008, made payments worth millions of dollars to Walid Al-Giahmi, an associate of the Gaddafi regime, were for help to set up introductions to the wealth fund.

The LIA accused Bear Stearns in a September 2018 London lawsuit of sending $6 million to Giahmi to arrange deals in a “sham” agreement to secure the $200 million bond deal.

Leonardo Di Caprio testifies in US 1MDB case

US actor Leonardo Di Caprio testified before a grand jury on 4 January as part of the US Department of Justice’s investigation into alleged corruption tied to Malaysian development fund 1MDB, according to The Washington Post

In March 2018 Red Granite Pictures, the company behind the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street", in which Di Caprio starred, paid $60 million to resolve a civil lawsuit stemming from an investigation into 1MDB. In court filings, US prosecutors had claimed that three of Red Granite’s films were funded with money stolen from 1MDB. 

Meanwhile, a Malaysian court declined on 7 January to grant bail to Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs banker facing extradition to the US to face money laundering and bribery charges related to 1MDB.  

Ng denies the allegations. His lawyer told the press that Ng will appeal against the decision.  

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