Are there effective measures in place for personnel found to have taken part in forms of bribery and corruption, and is there evidence that these measures are being carried out?

35a. Sanctions


SCORE: 100/100

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35b. Enforcement


SCORE: 50/100

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Legal mechanisms to address bribery and corruption are in place under the Anti-corruption Law 06-01 (2006). In Section IV, several articles deal with corruption and bribery of public officials, which stipulate fines and penalties. For example, for corrupt public officials, the penalty includes imprisonment for a term of two to ten years and a fine of 200,000 to 1,000,000 DA. According to Art. 25, two of the four offences are codified. The first part of the article sanctions the act of offering or granting an advantage to a public official for him to perform or refrain from performing an act. Section two sanctions the act of a public official to soliciting or accepting an advantage for him to perform or refrain from performing an act related to the duties of the public official (1).

Although Law 06-01 (2006) does not explicitly refer to the defence institutions, the Statute of Military Personnel provides evidence that it does apply to the defence sector. According to Art. 69, military personnel are subject to the provisions of ordinary criminal law and the Code of Military Justice, and military members shall be liable to disciplinary, professional and/or statutory sanctions (2).

There is evidence that measures are taken against members of the armed forces found to have taken part in forms of bribery and corruption. However, it is unclear yet if they are being pursued. In October 2018, five military generals were detained for alleged wrongdoings. They were accused of “squandering” public funds and “mismanagement”. According to the Algerian TV station Ennahar, they are being sued for unlawful enrichment and breach of trust in front of a military court. According to TSA, several hundred other soldiers of all ranks have also been charged for similar acts (1), (2). No information on the investigation could be found which would allow assessment on how investigations are undertaken. According to Art. 41 of the Code of Military Justice, the procedures during the investigation are secret (3). The latest report is the generals have been released while awaiting their trials by order of the President at the beginning of November (4). Since their trials have not yet taken place, no assessment on their hearings can be made. Some analysts have tied the cases to the upcoming presidential elections in 2019 and possible power struggles (1), which feeds suspicions that the cases are political. No other examples of generals being prosecuted for bribery or corruption have been found since 2016. In the reporting on the five generals, newspaper articles generally refer to the case of General Beloucif who embezzled money from the Department of National Defence’s coffers in the 1990s (2), (5).

The criminal code currently in force considers bribery an offence for all parties engaged and sets out prison terms ranging between two and eight years for bribery (Articles 318-326) (1). According to the 1994 Military Law, corruption-related offences are considered civilian crimes, though penalties are aggravated by one third (Art. 49) (2), (3), (4).

There have been only a few publicly known prosecution cases of mid-level military officials for bribery and corruption in recent years. For instance, in a widely reported case in 2016, the military attaché of the Angolan Embassy in Russia was convicted to three years in prison for the charge of “abuse of trust”, for having misappropriated scholarship funds. Sachipengo Nunda, the former General Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, is the only senior official who was indicted in recent years on corruption charges in March 2018, although the charges were later dropped by the Supreme Court (1), (2).

The Penal Code criminalizes and punishes bribery and corruption. Articles 155, 156, 157 and 158 of the code criminalizes and punishes receiving, offering and giving a bribe or bribes, gifts, or collusion, trading in influence, and solicitation by everyone including military officials (1), (2), (3). Article 157 and 158 state the penalties if found guilty of committing any of this crime. The punishment is imprisonment from one to five years, a fine twice the value agreed on, or from 300,000 to 900,000 francs. If a person is any of the public officers mentioned in Articles 155 and 156 maximum punishment is applied. Military officers are mentioned in Articles 155 and 156, therefore their punishment is the same (1). Article 159 states, “in any case, the court seised may also order the prohibition of the exercise of civil rights and/or functions or public employment for a period not exceeding five years. The things or values ​​delivered or delivered are confiscated for the benefit of the public treasury” (1).

According to GAN 2016, “Corruption is pervasive in all sectors of the economy and government… Foreign donors have pushed the government to pass new anti-corruption legislation in 2015″ (1). Although corruption is criminalized under the Penal Code, however, weak enforcement of these laws, coupled with poor access to information, a culture of impunity, weak institutions, have made the fight against corruption all the more difficult…The police and gendarmerie are perceived to be among the most corrupt institutions in Burkina Faso. Investigations of corrupt practices and the abuse of the police are carried out by the gendarmerie, but results of these investigations are not always made public….. however, only between 1-15% of households report having paid a bribe to the police” (1)
According to the DoS (2017), “use of excessive force, corruption, a climate of impunity, and lack of training contributed to police ineffectiveness… The government announced investigations in progress, but as of September 20, none had led to prosecution.inadequate resources also impeded police effectiveness…NGOs reported pervasive corruption in… the gendarmerie, national police, municipal police. The local NGO Anticorruption National Network (REN-LAC) categorized the municipal police as the most corrupt government sector. They reported a lack of political will to fight corruption, stating the government rarely imposed sanctions against prominent government figures (2), (3).
According to BTI 2016, “Isolated cases of corruption are prosecuted, but often without consequence…Though the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, the government did not implement it effectively. There are few reliable public sources of information about corruption, and the media are often left to publish rumors and accusations. Few government agencies provide customer-friendly services (for example on web sites), which seriously compromises citizens’ ability to obtain information about government operations, including the proposed national budget” (4).

There are several legal texts that criminalise corruption in Cameroon in conjunction with the country’s penal code (Law No. 67-LF-1 of 12 June 1967) [1]. Article 134 criminalises the giving and taking of bribes; the penal code effectively penalises offering and receiving bribes. Extortion and collusion with public employees is penalized by Article 137. Art. 142 and 160 treat intent of extortion, collusion or bribery as offences, while Art. 161 and 312 address issues relating to embezzlement (Art. 184) [1]. Other legal texts include Decree No. 95/048 of 1995 which outlines sanctions against corrupt magistrates and Decree No. 94/199 of 7 October 1994 which penalises administrative offences [1]. Additionally, ‘Loi No. 2017/012 du 12 juillet 2017 portant code de justice militaire’ is the military penal code and it addresses corruption in detail, especially embezzlement. Article 53 addresses embezzlement and the sanctions include life imprisonment and financial penalties (Article 53 of Loi No. 2017/012 du 12 juillet 2017 portant code de justice militaire) [3].

In the 2017 US State Department Report, the Delegate General for National Security, Ministry of Defence, and Ministry of Justice claimed members of security forces were sanctioned during the year for committing abuses, but there is no evidence as to whether these sanctions took place [2].

According to the same report, “The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, although these were seldom enforced. The government did not always effectively address high-profile cases, and officials continued to engage in corrupt practices with impunity. The judiciary was not always free to independently investigate and prosecute corruption cases. Some officers convicted of corruption were relieved of their duties but continued to be paid due to weak oversight, accountability, and enforcement mechanisms for internal disciplining. Civilian authorities maintained some control over the police and gendarmerie, and the government had some mechanisms in place to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. The DGSN and gendarmerie investigated reports of abuse and forwarded cases to the courts. Lesser sanctions were handled internally. The DGSN, Ministry of Defence, and Ministry of Justice claimed members of security forces were sanctioned during the year for committing abuses, but few details were known about investigations or any subsequent accountability” [2].

In 2015, a former Minister of Defence claimed that senior military officers who had embezzled funds meant for soldiers commissioned to fight Boko Haram in the Northern part of the Cameroon would be tried for treason [1]. However, there is no evidence that this measure was taken. In fact, it is alleged that the former Minister was involved in a corruption scandal involving Robert Franchitti, Colonel Mboutou and Maxime Mbangue, who received huge amounts of money from the former in exchange for lucrative Cameroon military contracts [3].

Bribery (offrir des cadeaux aux fonctionnaires, pots-de-vin, extorsion) and corruption are clearly defined offences that apply to defence personnel. Sanctions include more than one year of jail time, significant financial penalties and dismissal from the public office from six months to three years or even a permanent dismissal. In accordance with Act No. 2013-875 of December 23, 2013, ratifying Order No. 660 of September 20, 2013, on the prevention and fight against corruption and similar offences (Ordonnance n” 2013-660 du 20 septembre 2013 relative à laprévention et à la lutte contre la corruption et lesinfractions assimilées), bribery and influence peddling are codified offences as per Articles 15, 16, 18 and 21 (1), (2).

As per Order No. 660, Article 1, the scope of application defining a “public official” would de jure cover personnel in the defence sector because it applies to “any person acting on behalf of the State and/or with State resources”. This includes any public or ministerial officer (tout officier public ou ministériel) such as the personnel working at the Ministry of Defence (1), (2). Order No. 660, Article 29, penalizes the active and passive bribery of a public official through payments, gifts or benefits, as well as the acceptance of a bribe by a public official to carry out (or not to carry out) action as a public official. The penalties include 5-10 years of prison and a fine of 5 to 10 million FCFA. If the public official is a member of the Judiciary, the penalties are 10 years of prison and fines of up to 30 million FCFA (1), (2). Additionally, Order No. 660, Article 63, establishes complementary penalties that apply to natural persons convicted of offences such as bribery. These include the person’s disqualification from holding public office for a period of six months to three years, as well as a permanent disqualification (interdiction définitive). The sanctions for bribery and corruption in Order No. 660, include incarceration time, significant financial fines and dismissal to hold public office from six months to three years.

There is an overwhelming lack of evidence that cases of bribery or corruption among defence personnel are investigated and prosecuted. No evidence in open sources reported of MoD officials sanctioned or disqualified from public office as a result of Order No. 660. Order No. 660 and Order No. 661, which established the High Authority for Good Governance (HABG), are criticized in Ivorian media as ineffective in terms of enforcement (mise en oeuvre). In an article in Libre Afrique, Safiatou Ouattara criticizes the lack of public disclosure in the provisions regarding the personal assets of senior public officials. The article is focused on asset disclosure and not on incidents of bribery among defence personnel, but the criticism of Order No. 660 is based on the lack of strategy and independence of the HABG (1).

In a January 2018 published in Fraternité Matin, President Alassane Ouattara was quoted during a trip to Addis Ababa to attend an African Union summit that Order No. 660 had been amended via Order No. 2018-25 (January 17, 2018) to alter the procedures for disclosure of assets by public officials. There was no mention of any other changes to Order No. 660 that would amend the provisions on sanctions for bribery and corruption among defence personnel (2). It seems likely that Order No. 660 has had very weak enforcement since it was promulgated in 2013. In 2016, a Ministry of Justice evaluation of Côte d’Ivoire by Gnenema Coulibaly stated that legislation such as Order No. 660 had been operational for 3 years and that Côte d’Ivoire’s rankings in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report had been boosted as a result. No mention was made of the Order’s de facto enforcement (3). There is a total lack of evidence in open sources that Order No. 660 is effective.

Bribery and corruption are not mentioned explicitly in the Military Penal Code (1), (2), (3). Article 204 of the Constitution (4) states that the Military Court is an independent judicial body exclusively competent to adjudicate on all crimes pertaining to the armed forces, the officers and personnel thereof, and their equivalents, and on the crimes committed by the personnel of the GI while and by reason of performing their duties. This effectively means that the military has the right to prosecute its personnel, which limits the effectiveness of prosecution since independent and external measures and entities have little jurisdiction over members of the armed forces. Also, a new amendment to the military provisions law explicitly states that illicit gains crimes committed by officers are subject exclusively to the jurisdiction of military courts (5), (6). However, other national laws, mention bribery more explicitly, namely Articles 103 and 104 of the Egyptian Penal Code (7).

According to our sources, there is a complete failure to investigate and persecute personnel engaged in corruption activities, in spite of clear evidence (1), (2), (3). Since the prosecution of military personnel is the exclusive jurisdiction of military courts and prosecution (see 35A), their trials are secret and according to the Military Provisions Law, investigations and trials are considered “military secrets”, and the dissemination of its information is severely punished by law (4).

The Ghana Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105) and the Armed Forces Regulation (AFR) give a wide range of clearly defined offences in law that apply to the defence sector. Indeed, under section 18 of the Armed Forces Act,1962, there are sanctions prescribed for offences that can be classified as corruption. The Criminal Offences Act of Ghana, 1960, (Act 29) also applies to military personnel (1). These offences cover offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other persons in charge of public or legal duty. Chapter 5 of the Criminal and other Offences Act of Ghana, 1960, (Act 29) regulates the offences related to corruption. For instance, Section 240 explains that there is corruption “if he directly or indirectly agrees or offers to permit his conduct as such officer, juror, or voter to be influenced by the gift, promise, or prospect of any valuable consideration to be received by him, or by any other person, from any person whomsoever” (2).

For the civil servants working on the MOD, a code of conduct issued by the Office of the Head of Civil Service is also in place (3). The Code ranks transparency among its “guiding principles” (“Civil Servants should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict access to information only when the wider public interest clearly demands that the information should not be released”).

Additionally, deployed units are subject to the Command Policy Guidelines, issued by the Commanding Officer, and Army Head Quarter’s Directives. Ghana has a military justice system, including a Court Martial (1). Law enforcement is performed by the Military Police, which is mandated with investigating military personnel and operations.

Cases of investigation and prosecution have been reported by the media. For instance, on May 2018 the Ghana Armed Forces’ Disciplinary Board sanctioned five military personnel members, for illegal mining activities with 90 days of detention and the release from the GAF (the activity is locally known as “galamsey”).

However, cases that are investigated are not always prosecuted. For instance, on May 16, 2018, a soldier was helped by his colleagues to escape from police custody after returning from a court in the Tamale region. To prevent the police from re-arresting him, military personnel violently attacked police officers present in the area (1). To investigate the incident, a special committee was set up by the Ministry of Interior (2).

Laws that explicitly condemn acts or engagements in bribery fall under the rubric of Iraq’s Civil Penal Code. More specifically, Iraq’s newest Military Penal Code, Nº 19 (2007) (1) and the Military Criminal procedural Law Nº 22 (2016) (2), criminalises acts of theft, fraud and cases in which military equipment is procured illegitimately. A military affairs expert described in an interview with Transparency (3) the offence of high-level bribery as the most challenging crime that faces Baghdad. However, the Military Penal Code briefly mentions disciplinary penalties which are not always publicly disclosed. Article 8 of Iraq’s Criminal Procedures Law adds that if an officer that suspects that a crime has been perpetrated under his command can order an investigation. However, there is no respective legislation, the source concludes, outlawing the facilitation or transaction of bribes within Iraq’s security and defence institutions. He can then “appoint an officer to carry out the investigation” or thirdly, form an investigative board. Once the investigation has concluded, the evidence is forwarded to the relevant court which will refer the case to an independent military court. While the legal framework exists, under the Criminal Procedures Law for military actors, it offers a superficial treatment and definition of corruption (4), which has resulted in patchy enforcement.

Iraq’s antiquated anti-bribery laws (1), (2) are widely critiqued within media and policy circles for their selective application and enforcement. Iraq’s leading anti-corruption watchdog is more effective at issuing arrest warrants against corrupt civil servants but have been less effective in holding defence personnel to account for engagement in rife bribery. More recently, Iraq’s Supreme Anti-Corruption Council was in the press for having ordered the dismissal of 1,000 civil servants on charges of public integrity crimes (3). No evidence suggests that defence officials were affected or held to account. An Iraqi lawyer interviewed for the assessment (4) states that “the existence of overlapping mandates and legal codes creates gaps which those guilty of misconduct and pervasive crimes of corruption, slip through.”

In terms of sanctions, Jordan has several sources of legislation and regulations related to anti-bribery and corruption and is considered overall legally compliant to the UNCAC [1]. Anti-bribery and corruption laws include: (1) the Civil Service Regulation No. 82/2013, (2) the bribery-related provisions of the Jordanian Penal Code N.16/1960, (3) the Economic Crimes Law No. 11/1993, (4) the Anti-Corruption Commission Law No. 62/2006, and (5) the Higher Procurement Commission Regulation No. 50/1994 [2]. According to Articles 170-173 of the Jordanian Penal Code, bribery is defined as requesting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any gift, promise, or other benefit in return for an act done by virtue of the employee’s position, and the law also covers offers of bribes. The Penal Code stipulates penalties for both accepted and rejected bribes. For accepted bribes the penalty is 3 to 20 years of imprisonment. Legislation around corruption and anti-bribery applies to all governmental sectors, including defence. There have been few internal corruption cases that were sanctioned in the last five years. Usually such cases are done internally without public and media attention [3,4].

There are many examples of cases being investigated and prosecuted through formal processes and without undue political influence, however, there is no evidence of this ever having taken place within the defence sector. There is evidence of prosecution and formal processes taking place in small cases, such as that of a policeman accepting a bribe of 30 Jordanian Dinars [1]. There is also evidence of prosecuting a journalist for defamation as he accused public officials affiliated to the armed forces of corruption [2], suspected corruption in this case was not investigated. The cases listed on the official webpage of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission do not include anything related to the defence sector [3]. This could be explained by the fact that in 2016, the Jordanian Armed Forces prohibited publishing news or information about the force, except for official statements by the media spokesperson for the armed forces [4]. Official statements around corruption almost always include commendations for the role of the armed forces in maintaining stability in the country [5]. Despite the fact that Jordan has legislation in place to counter bribery and corruption, it is impossible to assess the level of enforcement, especially since issues related to corruption within the armed forces are rarely covered or reported in the media, and researchers cannot identify whether legislation is being enforced or handled in secret within the armed forces [6,7].

Bribery and corruption are not defined in the laws that apply to the military and police but there are wider legal mechanisms cover them, for instance, from giving away information and from using state assets for personal gain, according article 14 of the military law (1) and 15 of the police law (2). ِArticle 57 of the law of the military’s judiciary could sentence an officer to anything from seven years to life in prison for attempting to embezzle state funds or use them in any way for personal gain. Officers could be sentenced to death if convicted with divulging military secrets to enemies of the state, according to article 43, which does not address the possibility of officers divulging secrets to ordinary citizens for personal gain, for example.

These laws apply even to the civilian officials in these institutions when it comes to these matters, according to article 1 of both the police law and the military law. This lack of clarity over the procedures is compounded by the fact that article no. 5 of Law no. 1 of 1993 for public funds, which also tackles these issues, says that only public prosecutors have the right to investigate these crimes (3).

These institutions investigate very few issues and auditors from the SAB, ACA and CSC interviewed said that no one has been prosecuted (1, 2 and 3). The investigations that do take place do so only after the issue has garnered public or parliamentary attention. Auditors say there is no desire to see if others in the organszation were involved with the accused in his enterprise.

Both the public, the media and the Parliament also discussed concerns over the Interior Ministry buying gifts and holding elaborate ceremonies using public funds in February 2018, according to Al Qabas, the news outlet (4), and prosecutors are now investigating the matter. The ACA is also investigating the matter and its officials have named Adel Hashash, the former spokesman for the Interior Ministry, as a main suspect and a key witness (1).

Bribery and corruption are defined as offences by the Code of Military Justice, although it does not give details on giving/offering and soliciting briberies (1). Sanctions are applied and might include a reduction in rank, fines, or/an improvement (1). Art. 351 of Lebanon’s Penal Code, lays down bribery as an offence, including receiving, promising, or soliciting bribery (2).

This sub-indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

Information about investigations and prosecutions in the LAF are not publicized (1), therefore it is hard to identify the level of enforcement. However, sources indicated the LAF’s strict enforcement of rules for violations (2), (3).

The Penal Code specifically outlaws corruption and acts of bribery for all public servants, including military personnel. Article 121 states that “Anyone that, in either the performance or the obtaining of an act that benefits or favours, uses violence or threats, promises, offers, gifts or presents, or acts tending to corruption will be subject of the measures included in article 130, ‘five to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of twice the value of the approved promises or things received or requested, without such a fine being less than 100,000 francs”.¹ In 2014, Malian MPs voted in a law against illicit enrichment.² This new law updates a previous one, adopted in 1982. In the new law elected representatives are specifically cited and subject to prosecution in cases of ‘illicit enrichment’. However, MPs amended the text to prevent individuals in charge of the state budget from being prosecuted (in other words MPs are not subject to this law because they vote for the state budget).

Investigations relating to corruption in the state administration, including the armed forces, frequently take place, but they rarely result in prosecutions. For instance, in 2011, a colonel was arrested for allegedly embezzling approximately EUR 457,000 of military funds.¹ Meanwhile, in 2016, the DGSE arrested four senior members of the armed forces for allegedly embezzling CFA 700 million of military allowances.² As of March 2018, there is no evidence to demonstrate that the individuals in these cases were charged, dismissed or prosecuted.
In 2014, defence contracts signed under former Defence Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga (Sep 2013 – May 2014) were found to be irregular – according to Malian media, one contract, with a Chinese supplier, involved supplies invoiced at CFA 600 million but budgeted at CFA 3 billion.⁵ ⁶ As a result, the Ministry of Defence cancelled 10 defence contracts (in which several private companies agreed to provide the Malian state with military equipment). Maïga was subsequently put into police custody in Paris, where he was questioned in relation to an ongoing investigation into the French businessman Michel Tomi, who was implicated in the dodgy arms deal.⁷ In 2016, IBK appointed Maïga as General secretary of the President’s Office, after he escaped any legal inquiries in Mali.⁷
Moreover, in 2017, it was revealed that four gendarmes had allegedly been skimming off CFA 5,000 each month from payments made to gendarmes from the institution’s housing cooperative.⁸ This scam continued from 2004 until 2014, allowing the four gendarmes to amass an estimated fortune of CFA 2.3 billion.⁸ According to sources within the gendarmerie, several internal inquiries had found substantial proof of wrongdoing. But the sources alleged that a senior official, Brigadier Salifou Koné, was blocking the case from being investigated by the ministry of defence because of his links to the accused.⁸ As of June 2018, none of the accused have been brought to trial.

The judicial system in Mali is unable to efficiently deliver prosecutions as a result of internal corruption. For example, in December 2013, judicial representatives threatened to hold an indefinite strike due to state interference in arrest warrants against judges accused of corruption.³ The same month, four judges and a court clerk were arrested on suspicion of corruption. This incident also indicates that those suspected of corruption can be arrested, however, as with the Maiga case there is no evidence of them having been charged, tried or fined.⁴ A US State Department report also noted that “corruption and limited resources affected the fairness of trials. Bribery and influence peddling were widespread in the courts (…) There were problems enforcing court orders. Sometimes judges were absent from their assigned areas for months at a time”.⁴

No reference to corruption was found in the either the Regulations on General Discipline of the Armed Forces or the Military Justice Code (1)(2).

In the case of Mustapha Adib, the officer accused of illegally trafficking army fuel for his own benefit was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison but did not serve his term and was reintegrated into his functions. Observers, and Mustapha Adib himself, argued that the closeness between the general in charge of the region in which he was serving (general Bennani) and the King prevented justice from being done, and explained the treatment of Mustapha Adib (1)(2).

The 2003 Military Penal Code (1) addresses corruption in Article 228 which states that officers found guilty of corruption, theft or general crime can be dismissed, demoted or imprisoned. The code provides for a judiciary military police that reports to the Ministry of Defence (Article 46). They are responsible for finding and following up on all infringements of the law (Article 47) at all levels of the armed forces (Article 48).
Chapter III, Section 7 of the Public Penal Code (applicable to all civil servants) also states that: “corruption and Influence Peddling will be punished with imprisonment of two to ten years and a fine of Fr 50,000-1,000,000. The law extends to persons soliciting or accepting offers, promises, gifts or presents, including being invested in an elective office, an administrative, judicial, military public official, or agent or employee of the government (Art. 130)”. The code goes on to say that, “[a]ny person who has requested or approved bids or promises, solicited or accepted gifts or presents, to obtain or attempt to receive decorations, medals, honours or awards, squares, functions or jobs or favours granted by any public authority, markets, companies or other benefits arising from treaties with the public authority or, generally favourable decision of such authority or administration, and will and abused a real or supposed influence shall be punished with imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of 50000-1000000 francs (Art. 132)”.
Therefore, both the Military Penal Code and the Public Penal Code provide legislative measures that cover various practices that could be associated with corruption, namely, offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting bribes.

There is very little recent public information regarding cases of security and defence personnel being involved in cases of corruption. Investigations regarding police or military officers are rare. However, they are taking place. For example, in 2014, a dozen of police officers from the passport service of the National Police had been arrested and detained at the Niamey civil prison for passport fraud, in which false passports were given to none Nigerien nationals. The director of Direction de Surveillance du Territoire (DST) (Territorial Surveillance Directorate) and his deputy were arrested. 

The recent probe into defence procurement between 2007-2015 indicates that the Buhari administration is serious about fighting corruption in the military. However, there are failures to conclude trials and convict any individuals found to have violated procurement laws for their benefit. The lengthy nature of the legal proceedings is undermining the perception of the credibility of the process as none of the trials have concluded and no sanctions have been handed down. Bribery and corruption offences apply to the military and constitute offences under military law. The definition under the criminal code includes any public official “Section 98” (1). The criminal code defines official corruption to mean acts where a public official invites bribes, etc., on account of his actions either by corruptly asking for, or receiving, or obtaining any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person, it could also be that he corruptly agrees or attempts to receive or obtain any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person, on account of anything already done or omitted or any favour or disfavour shown to any person, by himself in the discharge of his official duties (1). Such official is guilty of a felony of official corruption and liable to imprisonment of seven years. Section 98(A) also stipulates that any person who corruptly gives or procures any property or benefit of any kind to or for a public official or to any other person or corruptly promises to do so is also guilty of the felony of official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. This law also applies in a situation when such a person is seeking to procure a government license or contract from the public official.

A panel found that over USD 15 billion was stolen from the state coffers under the guise of fraudulent arms procurement deals during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan (1). The panel launched investigations into 15 retired and serving military officers, as well as 22 companies and aides of suspects (1). A member of the panel, Rear Admiral Daniel Ikoli, died under suspicious circumstances in April 2017, prompting the other members of the panel to seek special protection (1). A recent example of the committee probing defence procurement between 2007-2015 suggests that cases are investigated and prosecuted. Many senior service chiefs from the previous administration are currently facing investigation and trial following the report into military procurement, which uncovered significant cases of large scale corruption in the military procurement process.

But the pattern of anti-corruption enforcement within the military is inconsistent and does not represent a significant deterrent against defence sector corruption (2017 TI report Weaponising Transparency) (2), (3).

Bribery is defined in Omani law and based on our sources, this law is applied to the defence sector when there are no official articles/ policies mentioned in the penal code of the military (1). Therefore, prosecution procedures for defence and security personnel are possible. Bribery is defined as, “any person who accepted a bribe for himself or for another person, be it in cash or a present or a promise or any other benefit for performing a lawful act of his duties, or for forbearing to do it or delaying its execution” according to the Omani Penal Code, Royal Decree 7/74 (2). The law targets public officials, they risk up to ten years imprisonment, a fine equivalent at least to the size of bribe and suspension of duties, the penalty extends to the bribery and mediator (2). Although legislation details bribery, no evidence suggests it includes or applies to the defence sector. Given that the defence sector is exempt from the parliamentary discussion, the tender board, and eGovernment open data requests it is difficult to ascertain if the penal code is applied to the military or security services (3), (4), (5). Military courts deal with malpractice in the defence and security sectors, “the jurisdiction of military courts is limited to military offences by members of the armed forces and security” suggestive that military courts overseen by armed forces officers deal with all crimes perpetrated by defence personnel (6).

There is no evidence of the prosecution of military personnel involved in bribery or corruption available to the public. However, there are very few cases where military personnel were prosecuted for misuse of power and authority. These cases are not for the high-rank officer but low and medium rank that do not catch public attention. However, such cases were superficially persecuted and they returned to their work after a few months (1). There are no media reports detailing corruption in the defence or security sectors, though corruption within the country is reported to have gone down between 2015 and 2016 by 7.5% (2), (3). In the absence of information regarding corruption in the defence sector, it is difficult to tell whether there is a failure to prosecute due to the lack of information available, or whether the lack of evidence suggests that if such prosecutions happen they happen in secret and are not declared to the public. There is no evidence of the prosecution of military personnel involved in bribery or corruption. No information was found on institutional websites such as the Ministry of Defence or the eGovernment open data portal Omanuna (4), (5).

The Military Employment Law prohibits illegal practices. However, it does not mention “Bribery and corruption”. Chapter 7, Art. 88, 89, 90, 91,92, and 93 states that military and security personnel are forbidden to be part of illegal actions that may harm the reputation of the military or security apparatuses (1). They are not defined as offences in the statute that applies to the military sector. However, illegal actions can lead to possible sanctions, including criminal prosecution, incarceration, dismissal, and considerable financial penalties.

There are many instances of corruption found within the national forces, as well as the PA in general, such as recruitment and promotions, but there is a failure to investigate the majority of incidents (1), (2). According to senior officials, recruitment of personnel, especially new soldiers is politically driven and some times recruitment is part of political bargains with tribes, families and so on. Even though there are claims about corruption within the armed forces, there is no tangible evidence as a result of investigations. According to the SAAB, for instance, there are thousands of security force vehicles that are used for personal services and by retired employees, which according to a Palestinian journalist (1) is part of a bribe and is used to cement loyalty from these individuals.

There is a law within the defence sector that defines offences related to corruption and bribery. It is very similar to Law no. 11(2004) [1], which clearly defines bribery as a punishable crime. The military law is enforced by the military police unit. Besides that, sanctions include imprisonment, and being fired from jobs. [2,3]

There are minimal instances where individuals have been prosecuted for corruption offences. The cases that were prosecuted, were minor and, therefore, the offending soldiers and officers did not face harsh punishment. [1,2]

According to our sources, there are clear and defined laws against bribery, the giving or receiving money in exchange of services, within the government, foreign agencies and foreign nationals within KSA. The penalties can be as severe as ten years in prison; and fines for companies. However, the law is not updated and it lacks jurisdiction mechanisms (1). Saudi Arabia anti-bribery legislation has been in place since 1992, in the form of the Regulations for Combating Bribery (Royal Decree No. M/36); these criminalize bribery offences involving public officials. Penalties vary according to the regulations and the specific offence committed, though those found to have committed bribery face up to ten years imprisonment and a fine of up to SAR 1 million (2). Saudi Arabia also has separate regulations for its civil servants and military officers, which prohibit them from misusing their positions or using influence, including bribery; there are punitive measures for doing so including possible disciplinary action or termination (3).

According to our sources, corruption cases are superficially investigated and measures are not taken against corrupt officials even in the face of clear evidence (1). Other sources argue that the crown prince’s latest measures against corruption are politically motivated against opposition figures in the kingdom, and were not investigated seriously (2). As outlined above (Q34), there have been several recent and high-profile arrests of military personnel and high-ranking officials on corruption-related charges. However, these arrests appear to be carried out in a somewhat arbitrary and ad hoc manner, with few details released about the specific charges; or the prosecution and investigation process. The charges against Miteb bin Abdullah, for example, were dropped after he agreed to pay a USD 1 billion settlement. This settlement included Miteb “admitting corruption involving known cases,” according to a Saudi official, although no details were provided relating to these cases (3). More recently in July 2018, three defence ministry officials were arrested on charges of receiving a USD 267,000 bribe as well as abuse of power (4). However, neither the names of these officials neither further details regarding the cases against them were provided by official sources; it is unclear whether any of the aforementioned cases receive due process.

There are a range of clearly defined offences in the Penal Code that directly apply to the defence sector. These offences cover offering and giving (1) (the attempt is also punished (2) receiving (3), or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty (4).
Possible sanctions include severe prison sentences (up to 10 years imprisonment) and considerable financial sanctions (une amende double de la valeur des cadeaux reçus ou des promesses agréées, sans qu’elle puisse être inférieure à dix mille dinars) (5). Law n° 67-20, dated 31 May 1967, on the General Status of the Military allows for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against any military officer who commits ‘offences against honour’, such as bribery, theft, or violence, when on service or outside of it (6). In the case of a military officer being convicted of a criminal offence (like bribery), he would be dismissed from his post (7). Although these disciplinary measures are general, they are applicable in cases of corruption.

According to our sources, there are very strict procedures and commitments to investigating corruption cases, but there is sometimes political influence in attempts to affect the procedures and derail the prosecution processes (1,2). Evidence shows that cases are prosecuted through formal processes. The National Anti-corruption Authority (INLUCC) report for the year 2017 shows that 7 cases of corruption have been transmitted to justice by the Ministry of Defence: 2 cases related to the General Directorate for Conscription, 1 case related to corruption in procurement at the National Center for Cartography and Remote Sensing, suspicions of corruption of military personnel related smuggling, etc. Furthermore, one case related to the Ministry of Defence has been transmitted to justice by the National Anti-corruption Authority (3).

There is a range of clearly defined offences in law that apply to the defence sector concerning bribery and corruption, and for this reason. Research has revealed that Federal Laws No. 6 and 7 of 2004, which specifically apply to the armed forces, clearly define bribery and prohibits corruption within the defence sector (1). Article 47 of this law prohibits an officer from accepting gifts of any sort whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly. There is also evidence that appropriate sanctions are in place through the Federal Penal Code, which imposes penalties on individuals and companies violating domestic bribery laws (1). These sanctions include criminal prosecution, incarceration, dismissal, and considerable financial penalties. This demonstrates that there are effective measures in place for personnel found to have taken part in forms of bribery and corruption. In reality, bribery and financial corruption are strictly forbidden and anyone engaged in such acts (non-nationals) would be deported or imprisoned (2), (3).

In cases of corruption by noncitizens, they would be prosecuted and then deported and prohibited from employment in the UAE. However, there is no evidence that citizens have ever been prosecuted before on charges of corruption because of political influence (tribes and connections) (1), (2).

Country Sort by Country 35a. Sanctions Sort By Subindicator 35b. Enforcement Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 100 / 100 50 / 100
Angola 100 / 100 75 / 100
Burkina Faso 100 / 100 25 / 100
Cameroon 100 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 100 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 25 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 75 / 100 50 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100 0 / 100
Jordan 100 / 100 25 / 100
Kuwait 25 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 50 / 100 NEI
Mali 100 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 25 / 100
Niger 100 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 100 / 100 25 / 100
Oman 25 / 100 25 / 100
Palestine 100 / 100 50 / 100
Qatar 25 / 100 25 / 100
Saudi Arabia 100 / 100 25 / 100
Tunisia 100 / 100 75 / 100
United Arab Emirates 50 / 100 25 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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