Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 08 October 2019

Guatemalan court blocks inquiry into CICIG

The Constitutional Court of Guatemala has blocked a governmental inquiry into the work of the UN-backed agency that investigated bribery and corrupt practices in the country, Al-Jazeera reports.

President Jimmy Morales shut the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) down in September, reportedly as a reaction to two years of investigation into him and his allies.

Two of the five commissioners reportedly appointed to lead the inquiry, along with many of the legislators who passed the decree establishing the special commission, have previously faced allegations of corruption and other crimes.

Trudeau defends pushing for DPA in SNC-Lavalin case

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his handling of the SNC-Lavalin scandal on 7 October after coming under fire during a televised debate ahead of upcoming federal elections, according to Global News.

Trudeau was reportedly subjected to a sustained grilling on the issue from the Conservative Leader, Andrew Scheer.

In August, Mario Dion, Canada’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, said in a report that Trudeau had repeatedly pushed for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to offer the company a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) to settle Libyan bribery allegations.  

Trudeau has previously said he thought prosecuting SNC-Lavalin would threaten Canadian jobs.

Responding to Scheer’s comments, Trudeau said: “The role of the prime minister is to stand up for Canadian Jobs, to stand up for the public interest, and that is what I’ve done,” he said. “That’s what I’ll continue to do every day,” he added.

Lifetime ban for ex-president of El Salvadoran Football Federation

World football body Fifa has issued a lifetime ban to Reynaldo Vásquez, former president of El Salvador’s football federation, for accepting six-figure bribes in deals related to World Cup qualifying games, according to the Associated Press.

He will reportedly also receive a fine of half-a-million Swiss francs.

US authorities had previously sought to extradite Vasquez after the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted him in 2015 over his dealings with the media agency MediaWorld between 2009 and 2011.

Vásquez is yet to stand trial the US. In March 2017, he was reportedly sentenced to eight years for embezzlement by a court in El Salvadora. He has not commented publicly on the ban.

In 2018, MediaWorld, since renamed Imagina US, agreed to pay $24 million in a settlement with the DOJ after admitting to bribery.

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