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Tuesday, 05 November 2019

Trial of Latvia’s central bank governor begins

The governor of Latvia’s central bank faced his first day in court on Monday over allegations of corruption, according to Bloomberg.

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, who also sits on the policy-setting panel at the European Central Bank (ECB), reportedly faces charges related to bribes he allegedly accepted from shareholders at now-defunct local bank Trasta Komercbanka on different occasions between 2010 and 2012.

The alleged bribes, which took the form of €250,000 and a paid holiday in Russia, were paid in exchange for help softening TKB’s treatment by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), Latvia’s banking regulator.

Peru jails 14 lawyers in Odebrecht probe

A judge in Peru has reportedly ordered the pre-trial detention of 14 prominent lawyers for 18 months over their alleged conduct in arbitration processes concerning Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. 

Prosecutors are investigating whether the attorneys favoured Odebrecht in 42 arbitration processes from which the company received $250 million. The lawyers denied the accusations and are appealing against the ruling.

Odebrecht entered into a $2.6 billion settlement with US, Brazilian and Swiss authorities in 2017 after it admitted to paying $788 million in bribes across 12 countries.

Peruvian authorities continue to investigate bribes paid by Odebrecht in the country. 

Malaysia seeks a further $4.3 billion in 1MDB scandal

Malaysia is seeking to recover at least $4.3 billion in assets that have still not been accounted for in the 1MDB investigation, the head of Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission reportedly said on 5 November

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) estimated in 2017 that approximately $4.5 billion was embezzled from the state investment fund.

On 30 October, the DOJ reached a settlement to recover more than $700 million in assets linked to 1MDB and fugitive financier Jho Low.

Malaysia is also seeking $7.5 billion in compensation from Goldman Sachs for the bank’s role in the scandal.

 

Thales asks South Africa's highest court to hear appeal against corruption charges

French defence company Thales will ask the Constitutional Court of South Africa for permission to appeal against a lower court’s decision not to toss a long-running corruption case, according to Reuters.

The allegations reportedly relate to an arrangement with former President Jacob Zuma, in which the company allegedly agreed to pay a yearly retainer in exchange for Zuma blocking an investigation into a $2 billion deal in 1999. 

“Thales confirms that on 1 November it applied to the Constitutional Court of South Africa for leave to appeal the High Court’s decision, which dismissed its challenge to the lawfulness of the decision to reinstate charges against it,” the company said in a statement to Reuters. 

Prosecutors reportedly shelved the charges ahead of Zuma’s successful 2009 run for the presidency, before they were reinstated in 2018 following anti-corruption lobbying efforts.

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