Formula 1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone and three other parties were accused of making a ‘corrupt bargain’ with a German banker Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky. It is alleged that they paid him £27 million in bribes to undervalue BayernLB’s stake in the sport prior to its sale to current owners CVC Capital Partners eight years ago. Constantin Medien were a shareholder in the sport and claim that they lost out on a large amount of commission as a result of Ecclestone’s dealings with Gribkowsky. A seven week hearing took place in London’s High Court aimed at establishing whether the shares were undervalued as alleged.
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There is no overarching theme in Libya – that is, unless you count the effect political paralysis in Tripoli has on the country’s numerous security problems. The longer Prime Minister Ali Zeidan remains isolated, and the General National Congress (GNC) can override his wishes, the longer the Libyan Government will remain unable to brave the endless oil blockades in the East, as well as terrorism, assassinations and intertribal clashes. In fact, the continued political stalemate in Tripoli, as well as the tendency of authorities to divert attention toward the supposed threats of Muammar Gaddafi’s ghost, has only exacerbated these problems.
In recent years, as technology has been advancing at a rate of knots, cyber crimes have been making headlines on a regular basis reporting highly technical and elaborate scams and high value losses, sparking fear in businesses and individuals alike. Whilst high-tech defences have been being developed to combat these crimes, low level, low-tech fraud techniques have once again begun to trend in the background.
What if thousands had perished at the hands of ruthless militias and no one was there to report it? This seems to be the fate of the Central African Republic (CAR), a nation which has already suffered from eight coups since 1960, and is now poised to endure even more bloodshed. Indeed, whilst the international community remains cautious over the apparent success of the UN intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, across the northern border into the CAR, an even more depressing picture has emerged. In a country which consistently ranks among the least reported nations on earth, there haunts the spectre of genocide, as violence between transitional authorities and rebellious factions, combined with a conflict decidedly religious in nature, shows no signs of closure. The situation in the CAR has become so unbearable, that the French Government recently announced it will deploy more of its forces to the restive African nation. This is a considerable turn of events for President François Hollande, who is already facing severe criticism at home and abroad for his military adventures in Africa.
Nonetheless, Paris appears committed to its latest endeavour to ‘save’ one of its former colonies. Following a new UN Security Council resolution on 10 October 2013, the French Government confirmed that, by 2013, it will ramp up its military presence to a total of 1,200 troops. France is not the only international actor attempting to change the heartbreaking CAR storyline. In addition to French logistical support, transitional authorities in Bangui are also counting on military assistance from Burundi and the neighbouring Cameroon. For its part, the UN has also authorised the expansion of its International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR) to a total of 3,600 soldiers by spring of 2014. Hopes that an international military response could end hostilities, however, have given away to a heavy dosage of reality, and – as ever – more questions: what is it that ails the Central African Republic? And can it truly be saved?
The concept of ‘amnesty’, traditionally used as a tool for political transition, may have the power to heal a nation scarred by political violence, yet there are always two sides to every story. A nation cannot heal without the acceptance of impunity for certain crimes by its people, thus making amnesty without public support an explosive mix capable of toppling a government that may have had the public’s best interest at heart. Unfortunately, in the case of Thailand’s most recent quest for amnesty, the proposed legislation neither addresses the country’s deep division, nor does it serve the Thai people in general. What is happening in Thailand right now is the picture book case of a government trying to exploit amnesty for its own benefit, while simultaneously, badly misjudging the public’s mood and strength to unite against a common cause – in this case the blanket amnesty bill.