Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Thursday, 12 September 2019

15 Novartis executives labelled as suspects in Greek corruption case

An Athens corruption prosecutor has asked 15 executives from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and its Greek branch to testify as suspects in a long-running bribery case, according to local newspaper Ekathimerini.

Prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki is investigating whether the company bribed medical professionals to promote its products between 2008 and 2012.

The investigation into the alleged bribery began in 2016. While 10 Greek politicians were also originally implicated in the scheme, the cases against most of them have crumbled.

Ekathimerini reports that the main suspect in the case, former vice president of Novartis Greece Konstantinos Frouzis, is yet to appear before Touloupaki. He denies wrongdoing.

CBI to update crime manual to combat corruption

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will update its crime manual, which dictates how it handles investigations, in light of changes to the country’s anti-corruption laws, reports say.  

Amendments to the manual are expected to take into account amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, which specifically made bribery an offence, and the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as various judgments handed down by the Supreme Court since it was last updated in 2005.

The new crime manual, which sets out the operating procedures for investigations, collecting evidence and tackling cybercrime, is due to be released at the end of 2019.

Belgian prosecutors arrest former Anderlecht club manager

Belgian police arrested former manager of Belgian football club Anderlecht, Herman Van Holsbeeck, at his home on 12 September as part of an investigation into money laundering and bribery in football, according to local press reports.

The news comes one day after Belgian player broker Christophe Henrotay was arrested in Monaco on charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Brussels-based investigative judge Michel Claise is leading the investigation into under-the-table commissions for player transfers. According to local press, the arrests follow on from a raid on the offices of the club on 24 April, but are separate to an ongoing enquiry into match-fixing, in which Holsbeeck was questioned in October.

Daniel Spreutels, the lawyer for Holsbeeck, said he was not surprised by the arrest and that his client welcomed the invitation to provide an explanation.

World Bank debars Chinese engineering company for fraud in Zambia

The World Bank announced on 11 September that it had debarred Chinese state-owned China Energy Engineering group-Hunan Electric Power Design Institute (CEEC-HEPDI), for 20 months over fraud in a Lusaka transmission project.

The company admitted to falsifying documents describing past contract experience, litigation history, and credentials in its bidding documents. As part of the settlement CEEC-HEPDI acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.

The company had won a tender for a 2013 World Bank project to rehabilitate Lusaka’s electricity transmission and rehabilitation systems.

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