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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Dictators have their plunder confiscated years after they were deposed

Super Star
Super Star

Nombre de messages : 4753
Age : 52
Localisation : USA
Opinion politique : Homme de gauche,anti-imperialiste....
Date d'inscription : 21/08/2006

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Dictators have their plunder confiscated years after they were deposed Empty Dictators have their plunder confiscated years after they were deposed

Message  piporiko Dim 22 Nov 2009 - 21:18

It is 23 years since "Baby Doc" Duvalier was forced out of power in Haiti;
but in the next few weeks, a court in Lausanne, Switzerland will decide
whether the kleptocratic dictator can finally get his hands on 7m Swiss
francs (£4.2m) that has been frozen in a Swiss bank account since 1986,
while the country he and his father ruled for more than 30 years
endured their grim legacy of poverty and political turmoil.Haiti's
government has requested a "mutual legal assistance proceeding", asking
the Swiss to confiscate the assets – and the drawn-out process should
reach its final stage before Christmas, in the Swiss supreme court."The
aim for the Haitian government is to say, 'Look, it doesn't pay in the
end'," says Valentin Zellweger, deputy director of Switzerland's
Directorate of Public International Law, who has been pursuing the
case. "We had excellent co-operation with the Haitian government: it
was this which allowed us to go as far as we did."It hasn't been
simple: the Duvalier family assets were squirrelled away in a vehicle
called the Brouilly Foundation, with connections to Liechtenstein and
Panama, and Baby Doc and his relations have fought hard to get their
hands on the cash, most recently appealing to the Swiss supreme court.
"All these families tell us they are destitute and live in very
difficult conditions. Strangely, they all have excellent lawyers,"
Zellweger says.The supreme court is expected to rule within
weeks about whether the funds can finally be released back into the
hands of the Haitian people. In theory, the Duvaliers could take the
case to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg, but even if
they choose to do so, the supreme court judgment will exhaust the Swiss
legal process, allowing the funds to be released immediately.Adrian
Fozzard, who heads the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (Star), a joint
initiative between the UN and the World Bank, says Duvalier is one of a
small but growing band of ex-leaders who are discovering that, even
decades after they are forced from power, the fruits of their plunder
can still be confiscated."The idea of going after the proceeds
of corruption is relatively new, but there is a general sense that the
tools are gradually being put in place," he says. Aided by the growing
international focus on unmasking secretive tax havens since the
financial crisis, Fozzard and his colleagues helped to put the issue of
chasing down the proceeds of corruption on the agenda for world leaders
at the recent G20 meeting.Since April's London summit, tax
havens have rushed to comply with new rules forcing them to hand over
information to overseas authorities, but Fozzard and his colleagues
would also like to see tougher rules forcing them to co-operate with
anti-corruption investigations in faraway countries.In its early
days, the main motivation for chasing down the ill-gotten gains of
ex-dictators was to finance development projects in their ravaged
countries. But Star tries to persuade both developing countries, and
the wealthy states where their assets are salted away, that it is worth
pursuing even small-scale operators – local state governors, minor
ministers and so on – to send a clear message that corruption will be
tackled."The money's great, but it's about the rule of law and
good governance: for us, it's about enforcement," Fozzard says. Over 15
years, around $5bn has been recovered and estimates suggest there may
be many times that to be pursued.And it's not just the dictators
who are finding it more difficult to hide. In a landmark development, a
financial intermediary who had helped former Nigerian leader Sani
Abacha – who died in 1998 – to conceal his cash on Jersey was arrested
in the UK and is expected to stand trial in the new year. "Pursuing the
intermediaries is one of the key things financial centres can do," says
Fozzard.Switzerland has taken an aggressive approach to
confiscation, despite its reputation as the home of the shadowy gnomes
of Zurich, pre-emptively freezing the assets of dictators who have been
forced out of power, while their home countries assemble the evidence
to bring them to justice – and even helping to meet the cost of lawyers.Britain
has been less of a pioneer in the field, but it recently set up a
proceeds of corruption unit within the Metropolitan Police, jointly
funded by the Department for International Development and the
Department for Business.However, the Swiss experience shows that
the process can take years of dogged pursuit. Haiti was ready to give
up on the Duvalier assets in 2007, until the Swiss announced they had
no choice but to unfreeze the funds. That caused a public outcry in
Haiti, and provoked a renewed commitment from the government there not
to let the case drop.During one recent case, in which
Switzerland was trying to confiscate assets belonging to the Congolese
ex-leader, Mobutu Sese Seko, an employee from one of the Swiss banks
involved phoned Zellweger and said he had a member of the Mobutu family
in front of him, asking why she could not withdraw her money. The
Mobutu case eventually collapsed, because the government of the
Democratic Republic of Congo – in which Mobutu's son is a minister –
was reluctant to pursue it.This failure underlines the obstacles
to pursuing political leaders who, long after being ejected by the
suffering populace, consider themselves beyond the reach of the law and
that the proceeds of years of corrupt rule are theirs to keep.

Dictators have their plunder confiscated years after they were deposed Empty Re: Dictators have their plunder confiscated years after they were deposed

Message  Invité Lun 23 Nov 2009 - 7:41

Shall we wait and see to find out how truly diligent the international community will be in catching corrupt Aristide and his criminal gangs of millionaires that have plundered the country's treasury? Shall we arm ourselves with patience to see how ready and willing they are to go after more contemporaneous thieves in order to fulfill their ambiguous pledge that corruption will not prevail ...when it is not in their interests?

I, for one, thoroughly dislike the selective justice process that caters to partisanship when it is carried out in the name of the proud notions of democracy in the hands of brothels’ owners.Egads! I do find it difficult to acept the alliance of the deviant morality of politics and prostitution that proposes us the ugly masquerade that virtue can be found inside a whorehouse ...

    La date/heure actuelle est Sam 3 Déc 2022 - 3:46