On the Money Trail - Jan. 22

by Luke Balleny | http://www.twitter.com/LBalleny | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:04 GMT
Corruption in the news

JAKARTA – An investigation of an Indonesian chief justice who was arrested on suspicion of receiving a $250,000 bribe has found that he has more than $16 million in assets, including 33 cars and 31 motorcycles, the Associated Press reported Indonesia’s graft commission as saying. Commission spokesman Johan Budi said the assets were confiscated from former constitutional Court Chief Justice Akil Mochtar and that Mochtar will have to prove they were not acquired through corruption at his trial, the newswire said.

SYDNEY – Barry O'Farrell, the Premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, will use special legislation to tear up three coal licences worth hundreds of millions of dollars issued by corrupt former Labor minister Ian Macdonald and deny the companies that own them any compensation, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The announcement is likely to spark legal action against the government by listed company NuCoal and private miner Cascade Coal, which claim their investors are being punished unfairly, the newspaper said.

GENEVA - Swiss authorities said they have opened a criminal probe in parallel with an investigation by officials in Guinea into whether a company linked to Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz paid bribes to secure a lucrative mining contract in that West African nation, The Wall Street Journal reports. A spokesman for the Geneva public prosecutor's office said it had opened the criminal inquiry late last year, after agreeing to assist in a separate Guinean investigation, the newspaper said. It isn't clear more specifically what the Swiss prosecutors are investigating, the paper added.

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