Foreign Corruption Whistleblowers

Budi SuhartoBudi Suharto (right in photo) visited me at the National Whistleblowers Center today.  Mr. Suharto is the Head of Bilateral Cooperation II Section of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia. We discussed how in both the United States and in Indonesia, recent criminal prosecutions of whistleblowers raise a concern that other employees

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[Turkey] “Prosecutors looking for ways to contact whistleblower,” Today’s Zaman, November 3, 2009.

Prosecutors conducting a probe into a clandestine group known as Ergenekon are searching for a way to reach a military officer who mailed the original copy of a military plot against the ruling party to an İstanbul prosecutor. The plot is aimed at undermining the power of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the faith-based Gülen movement.

[UK] Lakhani, Nina, “NHS is paying millions to gag whistleblowers,” The Independent, November 1, 2009.

NHS whistleblowers are routinely gagged in order to cover up dangerous and even dishonest practices that could attract bad publicity and damage a hospital’s reputation. Some local NHS bodies are spending millions of taxpayers’ money to pay off and silence whistleblowers with “super gags” to stop them going public with patient safety incidents. Experts warn that patients’ lives are being endangered by the use of intimidatory tactics to force out whistleblowers and deter other professionals from coming forward. Click here to read more.


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As Richard Renner wrote in the previous post, Transparency International (TI) just released their “Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the Private Sector (GCR).” In it, more than 75 experts examine a wide range of corruption issues around the world.    

In this post, I would like to introduce several whistleblowing issues around the world based on the report.    

The report emphasizes that “recognizing the role of whistleblowers” is one of key elements of good corporate governance, mentioning “employees are the single most important group of actors capable of detecting corporate fraud and as such they represent an extraordinarily important pillar in the system of checks and balances that comprise corporate governance.” 


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On September 14, 2009, the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague ordered Florence Hartmann to pay a fine of 7,000 Euros for violating the court’s confidentiality pledge.

Florence Hartmann, a former journalist for the French Daily Le Monde, was a spokeswoman for the ICTY from 2000 to 2006. After she left her position as a spokeswoman for the former chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte in 2006, she wrote a book – Peace and Punishment: The Secret Wars of Politics and International Justice and several articles in Paris Match magazine. In her book and articles, she revealed “the ICTY had decided in secret not to disclose information that could have proved a link between Belgrade and war crimes committed in Bosnia – most notably massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys at the Bosnian village of Srebrenica in 1995.” During the war crimes case against former President Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian government had submitted the document to the court on the condition of secrecy. Upon Milosevic’s death in March of 2006, the trial ended – without a verdict. The original documents have been not published yet (BBC News, 2009).


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Stephen M. Kohn in MontenegroStephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC), is in Montenegro this week calling for enactment of whistleblower protections as a key component of transparency.

Kohn is traveling to Montenegro under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. Today, the on-line journal Vijesti is running an article in Croatian about Kohn’s visit to Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital.

According to the Vijesti article, Kohn is saying that efforts to expose corruption in government and in businesses depend on protecting whistleblowers. A translation of the Vijesti article is available in the continuation of this blog entry.


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