Minggu, 23 September 2007

Top 10 Corruptor Political Leaders

“From now on it should be harder fer kleptocrats to steal the public money, and easier for the public to get it’s money back”

Antonio Maria Costa

The World Bank, in partnership with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launched Monday at the UN headquarters in New York an initiative to help developing countries recover assets stolen by corrupt leaders, help invest them in effective development programs and combat safe havens internationally. This institution called the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative focussing on program to “high earning political leaders who have been accused of corruption and stealing from the people’s “. StAR has ranked ten political leaders who have conducted corruption in amazing sum.

Why corruption is enemies of all? Stolen public money can fund social programs and public infrastructure. “ Every $ 100 million recovered could fund full vaccinations for 4 million children,provide water connections for some 250.000 house holds, or funds treatment for over 600.000 people with HIV/AIDS for a full year ". For Soeharto cases, recovered funds can be used to save 120 million poor indonesian citizen, 40 million unemployment, and thousand malnutrition children!

1. Soeharto, Indonesia (1967-1998), $ 15 billion - 35 billion

Suharto (born June 8, 1921) is a former Indonesian military and political leader. He served as a military officer in the Indonesian National Revolution, but is better known as the long-reigning second President of Indonesia, holding the office from 1967 to 1998. By the 1990s, his New Order administration's authoritarian and increasingly corrupt practices had become a source of much discontent. Suharto's almost unquestioned authority over Indonesian affairs slipped dramatically when the Asian financial crisis lowered Indonesians' standard of living and fractured his support among the nation's military, political and civil society institutions. After internal unrest, diplomatic isolation began to drain his support in the mid-to-late 1990s, Suharto was forced to resign from the presidency in May 1998 following mass demonstrations.

After serving as the public face of Indonesia for over 30 years, Suharto now lives his post-presidential years in virtual seclusion. Attempts to try him on charges of genocide have failed due to his failing health. His legacy remains hotly debated and contested both in Indonesia and in foreign-policy debates in the West.

2. Ferdinand E Marcos, Filipina (1972-1986), $ 5 billion -10 billion.

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralín Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was President of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives (1949-1959) and a member of the Philippine Senate (1959-1965). During World War II he was the leader of the so-called "Ang Maharlika" guerilla force in northern Luzon. In 1963 he became Senate President.

As Philippine president and strongman, his greatest achievement was in the fields of infrastructure development and international diplomacy. However, his administration was marred by massive government corruption, despotism, nepotism, political repression and human rights violations. In 1986 he was removed from power by a massive show of People Power after it was revealed he had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States.

3. Mobutu Sese Seko, Kongo (1965-1997), $ 2 billion -5 billion

Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (October 14, 1930 – September 7, 1997), known commonly as Mobutu, or Mobutu Sese Seko, born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) for 32 years (1965–1997), in which he rose to power after deposing Joseph Kasa-Vubu. Mobutu's legacy remains the subject of debate among Congolese. Some condemn him as a cruel, kleptocratic tyrant.

Others credit him with keeping the country relatively stable and peaceful throughout most of his rule and for providing Zaireans with a sense of national identity and pride. In a country with over 200 tribes, Mobutu was able to maintain order and avert civil war, although at high cost. His legacy can still be felt in Congo today. His legacy internationally is that of an unscrupulous one. He is a constantly recurring theme in 419 scams in emails sent to anybody worldwide. A 419er may claim to be Mobutu's wife, son [43], or daughter and promise a percent of his wealth to the email recipient if the recipient does a few things first, including pay advance fees. Another cause of his unscrupulous legacy abroad is his record on human rights as well as mismanagement of the economy and the institutionalization of corruption.

4. Sani Abacha, Nigeria (1993-1998), $ 2 billion - 5 billion

General Sani Abacha (Kano, 20 September 1943 – Abuja, 8 June 1998) was a Nigerian military leader and politician. He was the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. According to post-Abacha governmental sources, some $3 or $4 billion USD in foreign assets have been traced to Abacha, his family and their representatives, $2.1 billion of which the Nigerian government tentatively came to an agreement with the Abacha family to return, with the quid pro quo being that the Abachas would be allowed to keep the rest of the money.

Although this proposal caused a massive outcry at the time for seeming to reward the theft of public funds, it was subsequently rejected by the late dictator's son, Mohammed Abacha, who continues to maintain that all the assets in question were legitimately acquired. Although in 2002, Abacha's family accepted to return $1.2 billion that was taken from the central bank. Abacha was listed as the world's fourth most corrupt leader in recent history by Transparency International in 2004. Abacha had also literally laughed in the face of any possible sanctions by the United States against his government, arguing that the Americans would not do that on account that the oil companies are taking care of the Republicans and the Congressional Black Caucus takes care of the Democrats, and that all American blacks have a dual loyalty to African leaders.

The names of Sani Abacha and his widow, Maryam, are often used in 419 scams; he is “identified” in scam letters as the source for “money” that does not exist. General Abacha served during the controversial execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa. On 10 November 1995, Saro-Wiwa was hanged by Abacha, resulting in the immediate suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations.

5. Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989-2000) $ 1 billion

He was one of the key figures in the Yugoslav wars during the 1990s and Kosovo War in 1999. He was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War, by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Charges of violating the laws or customs of war, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in Croatia and Bosnia and genocide in Bosnia were added a year and a half later.

He conceded defeat and resigned after demonstrations, following the disputed presidential election of October 2000. Within nine months of his ousting, he was arrested by security forces in Yugoslavia on charges of corruption whilst in power, and within a very short time, was extradited to stand trial in the The Hague. At the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Milošević conducted his own defense. He died after five years in prison with just fifty hours of testimony left before the conclusion of the trial. Milošević, who began to suffer from heart ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes after he was imprisoned, died of a heart attack.

6. Jean- Claude Duvalier, Haiti (1971-1986), $ 300 million -800 million

Jean-Claude Duvalier (nicknamed Bébé Doc or Baby Doc) (born July 3, 1951) succeeded his father, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier as the ruler of Haiti from his father's death in 1971 until his overthrow by a popular uprising in 1986. The Duvaliers settled in France. For a time they lived a luxurious life - a villa in the hills of Cannes, two apartments in Paris, a chateau, along with a Ferrari. Although he formally applied for Political Asylum, his request was denied by French authorities and he was subsequently placed under house arrest for some time.

Jean-Claude lost most of his wealth with his 1993 divorce from Michèle. While apparently living in penniless exile, Duvalier does have some supporters, who founded the Francois Duvalier Foundation in 2006 to promote positive aspects of the dictatorship, including the creation of most of Haiti's state institutions and improved access to education for the country's black majority.

7. Alberto Fujimori, Peru (1990-2000), $ 600 million

Throughout his entire political career, Fujimori has been a controversial public figure. Fujimori has been credited by many with restoring macroeconomic stability to Peru after the turbulent presidency of Alan García Pérez (1985-1990) and bringing peace to the country after many years of political violence. However, he has been criticized for adopting an authoritarian leadership style, particularly after dissolving the Peruvian Congress on April 5, 1992.

In late 2000, in the face of mounting scandal, criticism over human rights abuses (including a compulsory sterilization program) and growing instability, he left Peru to attend an APEC summit in Brunei and then continued on to Japan, where he resigned. His resignation was initially transmitted by fax and later officially via the Peruvian Embassy in Tokyo. The Congress of the Republic refused to accept his resignation and removed him from office. It then barred him from holding any elective office for 10 years. In October 2005, he stated he would run in Peru's April 2006 presidential election, despite the 10-year ban. His daughter and former First Lady Keiko Sofía officially registered him in the Peruvian National Electoral Jury on 6 January 2006, but he was officially disqualified on 10 January.

After travelling to Chile, he was detained by Chilean authorities from November 7, 2005 to May 1, 2006, when he was released on condition that he remain in the country. The Peruvian government formally requested his extradition on 3 January 2006 to face human rights and corruption charges and this was rejected on July 11, 2007. Peru filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, which accepted his extradition on September 21, 2007, on human rights and corruption charges. and on September 22 he was extradited to Peru.

8. Pavlo Lazarenko, Ukraina (1996-1997), $ 114 million -200 million

Ukrainian politician and former Prime Minister who, in August 2006, was convicted and sentenced to prison in the United States for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion. Lazarenko was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) in March 1998, where he headed the parliamentary faction of his political party "Hromada". "Hromada" frequently sided with the parliamentary faction of Oleksandr Moroz. In December, 1998, Lazarenko was detained on money-laundering charges as he crossed by car from France into Switzerland. In a few weeks, he was released on bail in the amount of three million dollars. Meanwhile, details of his arrest in Switzerland led to a political scandal in Ukraine.

Apparently, Lazarenko attempted to cross the Swiss border with a valid Panama passport even though the Ukrainian law prohibits double citizenship. The public uproar was, in part, instigated by Kuchma's administration who pressed for Lazarenko's arrest. The parliament finally acquiesced to waive Lazarenko's parliamentary immunity on February 17, 1999. However, Lazarenko fled the country on the eve of the parliamentary vote.

He initially stopped in Greece, but was later detained in the New York JFK airport on February 20, 1999 on suspicion of illegally entering the United States. Reportedly, Lazarenko had a stack of documents with him, including a Ukrainian diplomatic passport with an outdated U.S. visa, and requested political asylum.

9. Arnoldo Aleman, Nikaragua (1997-2002), $ 100 million

José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo (born on 23 January 1946, in Managua, Nicaragua) was President of Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002. Alemán was succeeded by his vice president, Enrique Bolaños. Bolaños accused Alemán of widespread corruption and was integral in exposing this alleged corruption throughout the Alemán administration.

The scheme was reported to have involved several members of Arnoldo Aleman’s closest family, including a brother and sister, as well as Alemán’s daughter María Dolores Alemán. Ex–ministers and close friends were also charged, some of which have months ago abandoned the country. However, one of the central figures in the corruption complot, the former Chief of Department of Taxes Byron Jeréz, remains in prison since March on the basis of another charge of corruption. All in all, fourteen persons were charged."

Several times foreign governments have frozen Aleman's bank accounts in those countries and threatened to confiscate the funds. In such cases, his land of defense has been to claim that the funds were not stolen, but that they came from his coffee plantations. Alemán was formally charged in December 2002, and on 7 December 2003 he was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for a string of crimes including money laundering, embezzlement and corruption. During his trial, prosecutors produced evidence showing that he and his wife had made extremely large charges to government credit cards, "including a $13,755 bill for the Ritz Carlton hotel in Bali and $68,506 for hotel expenses and handicrafts in India."

10. Joseph Estrada, Filipina (1998- 2001), $ 78 million -80 million

Joseph Ejercito Estrada, more popularly known as Erap (born Jose Marcelo Ejercito on April 19, 1937), is a popular former film actor in the Philippines and was the 13th President of the Philippines from June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001. He was peacefully overthrown by the Second People Power Revolution after his aborted impeachment trial in the Senate, where eleven Philippine senators refused to examine the second envelope of the Jose Velarde bank account that would supposedly prove acts of political corruption.

On April 4, 2001, the trial of Estrada began as Ombudsman Aniano Desierto filed before the Sandiganbayan, a Philippine anti-graft court, a PHP 4-billion plunder suit and a minor perjury charge for falsely declaring his assets and illegally using the Jose Velarde alias. On September 12, 2007, he became the first Philippine President to be convicted of a crime after the Sandiganbayan found him guilty of plunder, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. He is once again detained in his Tanay, Rizal resthouse but his visitors will be strictly admitted.

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