Q49.

Is there a policy to make public outcomes of the prosecution of defence services personnel for corrupt activities, and is there evidence of effective prosecutions in recent years?

49a. Policy

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49b. Transparency

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49c. Effectiveness

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No evidence could be found that there is a formal policy to make public outcomes of prosecutions of defence services personnel available; see the country’s last assessment (1). Rules coded in the Code of Military Justice do not suggest that there is such a policy. According to Art. 41, the procedures and the investigations are secret. Moreover, all persons who are involved in the procedures are bound by professional secrecy (2). In Art. 135, the court can forbid reporting on the proceedings of the cases. Violations of rules can be subject to prosecution (3). There are reports in the media about corruption cases in the military last year, but no information was given if the armed forces proved the information (4), (5).

The outcomes of the prosecution of defence service personnel for corruption activities are generally not made public. A recent report from the US Department of State noted that the Algerian “government did not always provide information on disciplinary or legal action against the police, military, or other security personnel” (1, p. 4). No information was provided on the website of the Defence Ministry (4). No website for the Military Judiciary or evidence of other official communication procedures were found. However, there are reports on the current corruption cases involving five high-ranking military officers in the media (2), (3).

There is no evidence that prosecutions of corruption cases in the defence sectors have been effective. If there have been any effective prosecutions, they have not been made known to the public; see the country’s last assessment (1). The corruption cases of the five high-ranking military members of October 2018 have yet concluded and no assessment of the effectiveness can be made yet (see the answer to question 35). In 2018, there have been discussions that the trials were connected to the scheduled presidential elections in 2019 and possible power struggles (2). In 2019, there was a report that one of the accused was on the run. (3) Arrest warrants against two others were also issued in spring 2019 (4). No other examples of military personnel being prosecuted for bribery or corruption have been found since 2016. Newspaper articles reporting on the five generals compared the case to the trial of General Beloucif who embezzled money from the Department of National Defence’s coffers in the 1990s (5).

Further assessments on the Algerian judiciary suggest that civil trials are not without undue political influence. For example, one observer stated that the intelligence service (DRS) interferes with the work of the judiciary (6). Freedom House noted that the judiciary is vulnerable to government pressure since the president appoints all judges and prosecutors. Additionally, the High Judicial Council is led by the president, who also selects its judges (7).

One prominent civil case provides evidence that obvious cases are not prosecuted. The case of the former Minister of Energy, Chekib Kheli, who was close to former President Bouteflika, was also mentioned in the country’s last assessment. Khelil was accused of being involved in a complex international money-laundering system. In a court case in Italy, it was exposed that he had received bribes of nearly 200 million euros. To the surprise of many, the Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced in November of 2017 that the case would be closed (8).

There is no stated policy to make public outcomes of the prosecution of defense personnel. Prosecution cases and their outcomes have been disclosed mainly by the media.

Court documents such as indictments and sentencing are considered public documents; however, in practice access to court hearings and documents is often restricted for the media, even more so for the military courts (1).

Cases are investigated but are not often prosecuted. There are indications for clear undue influence in the decision-making process in recent years; for example, President Dos Santos’ decisions to grant a broad amnesty in 2016 and to shelve more than four years of inspection investigations in 2017 (1). The inspector general of the Angolan Armed Forces (IGFAA), apparently later merged with the inspector general of National Defence, has conducted investigations into corruption-related activities within the defence sector. However, although senior officials were investigated, no prosecutions followed.

Based on the broad amnesty issued by Dos Santos in 2016, several corruption-related investigations based on complaints presented by Rafael Marques and several lawyers were shelved. Furthermore, in September 2017, the inspector general of the state administration, a direct subordinate of the president, shelved all ongoing investigations opened between January 1, 2013, and August 30, 2017 (2).

In 2010, an IGFAA inspection ordered by the president led to the dismissal of Francisco Pereira Furtado the then General Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, for alleged involvement in corruption. However, Furtado was not prosecuted, and in 2014 his alleged co-conspirator, Furtado’s arms and logistics director, General Fernando Vasquez Araújo, was later appointed to another top post in the same area of work (3).

In 2011, Rafael Marques filed a criminal complaint at the attorney general’s office against nine powerful generals on allegations of corruption and torture, which included the then inspector-general of the Joint Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (it’s unclear whether that post still exists), Carlos Alberto Hendrick da Silva. The complaint was never investigated. Subsequently, the powerful general who retired as an inspector in 2017, was among the plaintiffs in a defamation lawsuit against the journalist (4), (5).

In 2018, President Lourenço ordered an investigation on corrupt practices of the military intelligence chief, General Zé Maria. He has since retired but hasn’t been prosecuted (6).

The existing defence policy of 2004 does not cover issues such as corruption (1). There is no evidence on the existence of an anti-corruption policy that specifically applies to the military. However, the current REN-LAC’s the Open Government Partnership (OGP) against the corruption of the Ministry of Civil Service, Employment and Social Welfare (MCSESW) (2), applies to the defence ministry, as many government institutions have subscribed to it (3). However, there is no evidence, which proves that the OGP applies to the military.

According to the United States Department of State, the gendarmerie is responsible for investigating and prosecuting both the personnel of gendarmerie and the police, but investigation and prosecution reports have never been made public (1). Also, there is no evidence that both the Parliament and the Court of Account, respectively manded by Article 84 and Article 127 of the Constitution (2), as oversight of the defence sector, have already published a report on the management of the military. The ASCE-LC, which has just been provided with constitutional power to investigate and prosecute, is still finding its way in the system. There is no transparency in the processes of such kinds in the defence sector (3). Terrorism has increased the lack of transparency within the military, as they tend to make every issue a defence secret (3).

The internal body in charge of investigating corruption within the security sector is the gendarmerie, according to the United States Department of State. However, none of its reports are published for public access (1), (2). The opacity of the defence sector makes it difficult (if not impossible) to conduct any scrutiny work by recognized public institutions (3). The Supreme Audit Institution, the Parliament and the ASCE-LC, each mandated by the Constitution, to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption, have failed to scrutinize the defence sector through the publishing of a single investigation report. The lack of a real separation of powers (2), the weakness of law enforcement and the poor access to information make the fight against corruption so difficult (4).

There are several legal documents that guide the behaviour of these personnel with respect to corruption. They include:
– Article 134 of the Penal Code, and
– Article 66 of the Constitution (Declaration of Assets by political appointees) [1].

Corruption is criminalised within the penal code of Cameroon (Law No. 67-LF-1 of 12 June 1967). The penal code effectively penalises:
– Offering and receiving bribes (Art. 134),
– Granting of undue exceptions or benefits by a public official (Art. 137),
– Extortion and collusion with public employees (Art. 142 and 160),
– Intent of extortion, collusion or bribery (Art. 161 and 312) and
– Embezzlement (Art. 184) [2] [3].

However, there is no formal policy to make outcomes of the prosecution of defence personnel public. Civilians who are victims of police or gendarmerie offences sometimes do not know the outcomes of disciplinary measures taken against their violators or offenders [4].

There is no official policy on the publication of names of security personnel involved in corrupt practices. However, from time to time the names of junior officers found guilty of corrupt practices are broadcast on the radio and television [1]. As an example, Africa News reported in July 2018 that “The Cameroonian army has been indicted in extrajudicial executions of two women and two young children” [2].

Although the law makes provision for criminal penalties for defence and military personnel, these are hardly enforced, especially when high-profile personalities are involved [1]. Some junior and middle-management officers are sometimes prosecuted for corruption but top-ranking military officers seem to benefit from the impunity related to corruption in the country [2]. It is alleged that Edgard Mebe Ngo’o, the former Minister of Defence, and Colonel Mboutou were involved in a corruption scandal where “Robert Franchitti paid Colonel Mboutou and Maxime Mbangue huge amounts of money in exchange for lucrative Cameroon military contracts” [3] [4], but there is no evidence that they were ever prosecuted. A US State Department Human Rights report observed that the Delegate General of National Security (DGSN) investigated alleged abuses and cases were sent to court. Although the DGSN, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice reported that members of defence and security were sanctioned in 2017, there is no evidence that these sanctions ever took place [1].

According to the US State Department, “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 Defense, 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” [1].

Cameroon media continue to relate details of an investigation in France concerning suspicions of corruption / bribery between the former defence minister Edgard Mebe Ngo’o and MagForce for defence contracts. The ex-minister and his wife have been arrested and held in Yaounde on charges of corruption [5] [6].

There is no formal policy to publicize the outcomes of the prosecution of defence personnel for corruption. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence showing that cases involving police rackets are effectively prosecuted by military prosecutors for charges of corruption. In July 2018, Le Débat Ivoirien reported that 21 gendarmes had been arrested and been temporarily incarcerated at a military prison in Abidjan to await trial on racketeering charges. The arrests took place as part of the anti-racketeering efforts within the armed forces. The public P
prosecutor, in this case, Ange Kessi, stated that this type of corruption tarnished the public image of the armed forces and would not be tolerated. A military court in Abidjan (MAMA) was scheduled to try them and another 33 accused of corruption in October 2018 (1), (2).

Previously, in May 2018, the General Directorate of Public Administration (Direction Générale de l’Administration) had organized capacity-building workshops to help local anti-racketeering groups to publicly denounce this type of corruption cases. During these workshops, the inspector general of police services and former ministry of national security, Joseph Djable, sent a strong message to racketeers within the Gendarmerie that corrupt practices would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The efforts to end racketeering by military and civilian police are often backed (financially) by multilateral organizations and by the executive due to the negative impact they have had on the national economy. The inspector general said that “all civil servants in the police services who are condemned to 6 months of prison will be banned from the police force” (3).

The policy of permanent removal of prosecuted officials from the police force (radiation des effectifs) was confirmed in November 2018 (4).
There is strong evidence that there is an informal policy at defence institutions to make the outcomes of prosecution publicly available, particularly for anti-racketeering efforts.

The reality is that both the process and the results of the prosecution are made publicly available with access to information on the charges and hearings. However, the information released to the public is not exhaustive, as per the criteria for a score of 4.

As shown in 49A, Joseph Djable, sent a strong message to racketeers within the Gendarmerie in May 2018 that corrupt practices would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The inspector general said that “all civil servants in the police services who are condemned to 6 months of prison will be deleted from the police force” (1). The accusation, arrest, temporary incarceration and outcome of the anti-racketeering trials by military prosecutors have been made widely available in 2018, perhaps as a sign that the executive is unwilling to tolerate this type of petty corruption (2), (3).

There is evidence that military and civilian police personnel have been investigated and prosecuted on racketeering charges to the full extent of the law in 2018. However, the high level of effectiveness may be attributed to the executive’s strong political will to end such practices. In November 2018, the Military Court of Abidjan (Tribunal Militaire d’Abidjan, TMA), by way of military prosecutor Ange Kessi, ordered the dismantling of 33 illegal roadblocks in rural districts operated by corrupt members of the police forces. Some brigade commanders were involved in these rackets. The dismantling of the roadblocks took place after NGOs and the Transportation Fluidity Office (Office de la Fluidité des Transports) had brought the existence of 33 roadblocks to the attention of the military prosecutor (1).

A biographical article about Ange Kessi in Jeune Afrique (May 2016) explains how he has brought about several changes in terms of prosecuting corruption cases. Kessi has become an iconic figure in Côte d’Ivoire’s judiciary because of his prosecution of crimes committed by defence personnel, including highly sensitive cases of former military commanders such as Wattao and Chérif Ousmane, both of whom supported President Ouattara during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. The article characterizes Kessi as an activist prosecutor (2):

“From his offices in Tower A of Plateau Administrative City in Abidjan, Colonel Kessi goes through his files every day. They include cases involving the abuse of power, racketeering, murders … On his table he has piled up the proceedings against soldiers, gendarmes, policemen. During trial proceedings and in the field, he has relentlessly tracked the evidence and inconsistencies” (2).

There are cases of effective dismantlement of roadblocks in 2018; the military prosecutors such as Ange Kessi are allowed to investigate politically sensitive cases of corruption that could compromise President Ouattara.

All information regarding the investigation and prosecution of defence personnel for all crimes, especially corruption, is secrets since military courts have exclusive jurisdiction over crimes committed by defence personnel (1). Making the information available to the public is punishable by the Military Provisions Law no. 25 (1966) (2). Article 31 of the law stipulate that “the investigation procedures and its results are considered secrets. Members of the prosecution, members of judicial control and their assistants, and all others who are linked to the investigation or attend it because of their job must not disclose any information about it or otherwise, they will be subject to the penalties set out in the law.” On the other hand, Article 71 of the same law stipulates that court session are public, but it gives the court wide discretionary power in giving “exceptions” to make the session secret for reasons of protecting military secrets, public order or for reasons related to moral decency. The court has the right to declare part or all of the session secret, prevent certain individuals from attending the sessions or imposing a media ban. In all cases, there is no public or easily accessible database (e.g. online) for accessing court document especially those on sensitive issues involving, for example, a senior military official in corrupt activities.

No information on prosecutions or outcomes is made publicly available, and the little information available in the public domain is usually through the testimonies of defence lawyers in cases where civilians are involved (1),but this limited level of access is usually unattainable for cases where defence personnel are involved as it will more likely to be deemed by the court as a “military or defence secret”.

According to our sources, there is a complete failure to investigate any corruption activities, even when there is clear evidence. Usually, those who commit these activities are at a high level, and they have the power to bypass any investigations (1), (2), (3), (4).

The military justice system is based upon the Armed Forces Act (1962), Act 105. The act does not provide a publication of the outcomes of prosecution for the public. The same goes for the Armed Forces Regulations, which regulates the procedures used by the tribunals, and does not provide publication of the outcomes of prosecution (1). Military personnel are tried before the military court for the most important breaches of the code of conduct, and before civilian tribunals for the most common prosecutions.

Information on prosecutions is not made publicly available. Neither the MOD or the GAF publish the outcomes of prosecution, the media occasionally cover the most salient cases (1), (2). Ghanaian tribunals do not have a publicly available database of their trials.

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

According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, the judiciary is perceived as the second most corrupt institution after the police (1). In 2015, an investigation led by the prominent Ghanaian journalist, Anas, exposed broad corruption practices in the judiciary system (2); the scandal prompted the Judicial Council to suspend more than 20 court judges and magistrates (3).

There is no evidence to suggest that Jordan has a policy to make the outcomes of prosecutions for corrupt activities of defence personnel available to the public. In fact, policy restricts access to information related to defence in general. Information about the defence sector is generally considered classified under Jordan’s Protection of State Secrets and Documents Provisional Law No. 50 [1]. As there is no legal framework to guarantee public access to defence information, there are also no policies to guarantee access to the outcomes of the prosecution of defence services personnel for corrupt activity. Most matters related to defence are considered classified. There has been in the past, cases of corruption within the intelligence services, where outcomes of prosecution were made public. There were several incidents when defence institutions were accused of corruption including the general intelligence services [2]. There were also a few instances of officials within the defence and security sector, such as the head of intelligence services, being put forward for trials and sentencing, which can be perceived as a way to increase the public’s trust in the willingness of the defence sector to counter corruption [3]. However, there is not a clear policy that guarantees public access to outcomes of the prosecution of defence personnel. The incidents where the public were given access to the outcomes of the prosecutions date before the armed forces prohibited the publications of news about them [4].

As previously established, there is generally no transparency in relation to defence matters, and for this reason it is safe to assume that there is no transparency regarding information on prosecutions. Jordan’s Protection of State Secrets and Documents Provisional Law No. 50, considers all matters related to defence as classified [1]. The armed forces prohibited the publication of its news in 2016 [2], immediately off the back of corruption accusations by the public about the chief of the army [3]. These claims were over the Chief attaining a publicly owned piece of land to build a private home. Beyond the accusations, the army chief was not prosecuted, and no investigation took place in relation to these accusations. There is not only no transparency in relation to making the outcomes of prosecutions available, there is a general lack of information around the defence sector in general, stipulated through policies that restrict access to such information and do not allow for defence scrutiny.

There is a complete failure to investigate or prosecute, even in the face of clear evidence, especially when it comes to the armed forces. Over the past few years, whenever accusations of corruption in the armed forces surface, these accusations are either responded to through armed forces statements or through silencing such accusations. Accusations levelled against the chief of the army were neither investigated nor prosecuted [1]. The corruption accusations against the armed forces, brought forward by the association of retired military personnel, which concerned the distribution of food parcels for retired military personnel, [2] were not investigated or prosecuted. Instead the armed forces issued a response statement, which indirectly meant that they had the final say over the matter. In addition to that, there is evidence of journalists and the public being prosecuted for defamation when they speak about Governmental corruption [3]. Therefore, there are many reasons and examples that make it safe to assume that cases of corruption are rarely prosecuted and that the defence sector is immune from such accusations by law, as explained in the above sub-indicators.

The military have the formal power to make the outcomes of prosecutions public, according to article 24 of the military trials’ law (1). However, the problem is that most prosecutions are never completed, and so they almost never have anything to announce. Auditors did not know if there is a written policy about this matter. It is not present in their publicly available laws but it may be present in their internal rules handbook.

The investigations into corruption are drawn out and they almost never result in successful prosecution for the security agencies to make public, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). The security agencies are also tight-lipped about these investigations, and they did not officially tell the public who is being investigated and what charges they are facing. Any information about the individuals involved and their charges, as well as other details of the case, are the byproducts of speculation or informal conversations between activists and journalists with security or auditing officials.

The agencies are only willing to tell the public that they are investigating an issue or a trend, but sometimes lawmakers reveal details of the case.

There is a complete failure to prosecute but they do conduct investigations because of undue political influence, officials said (1, 2, 3 and 4). These investigations appear to be just for show, and they are often drawn out and the security agencies generally do not cooperate with the investigators. Sometimes auditors are explicitly told to kill cases by high-ranking auditing officials close to the Emir or by the security services, to whom fighting corruption is not a priority, officials said. (The officials behind the corrupt practices are often from powerful Kuwaiti tribes, whose happiness and silence the Emir is interested in buying while he tries to keep the instability of the region from affecting Kuwait, the officials said.)

Defence service personnel are prosecuted by a military court. According to Article 55 of the Code of Military Justice, the outcomes of the prosecutions are publically released. However, the court may prohibit the publication of the proceedings or summary of the prosecution if it deems it necessary (1).

The Military Court prosecution outcomes are published by local media outlets. The prosecutions announcements usually include information about the indicted persons, the trial process and the outcomes (fines, prison sentence, etc.). For example, a summary of the list of results may include the names, initials, or the number of persons tried in front of the court (1). The published results also include the main issues under which indicted personnel were charged such as terrorist activities (2). Some announcements might also be more specific to one prosecution case were they narrate and describe what went on during the hearing (3). Nevertheless, the proceedings are not open to the public, a key feature that human rights organisations such as HRW have called for an increase in the court’s transparency (4).

Cases of corrupt activities are investigated and prosecuted. For example, in July 2018, the Military Court sentenced 14 people involved in bribes acceptance to recruit civilians in the LAF (1). In 2017 the Military Court indicted 7 persons including civilians and former military personnel for being involved in a corruption case linked to the military academy (2). According to journalist Johnny Mounayar during a morning political talk show on a local TV station, he indicated that the 17 officers were prosecuted for corruption and dismissed from the army. The case was not publicized and the LAF blocked any political interference (3). Nevertheless, in 2016, the ALEF, a human rights organization, indicated that the Military Court had been a political tool to suppress individuals (4). HRW has reaffirmed this point in its 2017 report by describing the court as a tool for intimidation (5).

Prosecutions of defence officials for corruption are exceedingly rare. Thus, it is difficult to judge what the policy of the Ministry of Defence is, in practice, towards the disclosure of prosecutions for corruption. In the statute book at least, there is no reference to a policy of disclosure with regard to prosecutions. Although the general statutes for the police and the armed forces stipulate disciplinary procedures and sanctions, there is no mention of whether such cases are automatically made public or not.¹ ²
However, the attitude of the government and the Ministry of Defence towards allegations of corruption can reliably be gauged from how they have reacted to corruption-related scandals in recent years. For instance, in November 2017, it was reported that officials within the Ministry of Defence were on the brink of revealing the identities of several senior security figures implicated in the embezzlement of military food allowances and the drawing of salaries from up to 13,000 ghost employees.³ Rather than have the Ministry of Defence suppress the report, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General instructed the Prosecutor General to open an investigation into the allegations.³
Similarly, in February 2016, the identities of four senior military leaders arrested for embezzlement were publicly revealed. Among more than the 20 arrested individuals were:
– Colonel Major Mary Diaar, from MDAC’s finance and equipment division
– Colonel Cheick Hamalla Traoré, from the budget and finance division
– Colonel Satao, from the general staff of the armed forces
– Captain Achofikoi Maïga, from the IT division.³
Meanwhile, in November 2016, the daughter of a military general, who worked as a cook at a police training school, was condemned to five years in prison and ordered to repay 75 million CFA (USD 140,500) to 95 victims.⁴ Sergeant Aminata Kané was found guilty of having solicited bribers to facilitate successful applications for posts in the customs authority, the police, the gendarmerie and the national guard.⁴ Applicants had been “encouraged” to pay between 100,000 CFA and 5 million CFA to secure jobs within the security forces.⁴ This rare prosecution and the details provided, along with previous arrests and investigations, indicate that while the security forces do not have formal policies relating to the disclosure of prosecutions and investigations, the details of such cases are frequently revealed.

Prosecutions of defence officials for corruption are exceedingly rare, despite some legislation in place.1,2 Thus, it is difficult to judge how transparent the Ministry of Defence is, in practice, in the disclosure of prosecutions for corruption. However, the attitude of the government and the Ministry of Defence towards allegations of corruption can reliably be gauged from how they have reacted to corruption-related scandals in recent years. The assessor has found evidence showing that the disclosure of details in relation to corruption investigations and prosecutions is sometimes comprehensive, but at other times is inconsistent and patchy, in keeping with an informal policy.
For instance, in 2011, an army colonel was arrested for allegedly embezzling approximately EUR 457,000 of military funds.⁵ He was detained and suspended from undertaking his military activities, but his identity was not revealed.⁵ By contrast, in February 2016, the identities of four senior military leaders arrested for embezzlement were publicly revealed. Among more than the 20 arrested individuals were:
– Colonel Major Mary Diaar, from MDAC’s finance and equipment division
– Colonel Cheick Hamalla Traoré, from the budget and finance division
– Colonel Satao, from the general staff of the armed forces
– Captain Achofikoi Maïga, from the IT division.³
Meanwhile, in November 2016, the daughter of a military general, who worked as a cook at a police training school, was condemned to five years in prison and ordered to repay 75 million CFA (USD 140,500) to 95 victims.⁴ Sergeant Aminata Kané was found guilty of having solicited bribers to facilitate successful applications for posts in the customs authority, the police, the gendarmerie and the national guard.⁴ Applicants had been “encouraged” to pay between 100,000 CFA and 5 million CFA to secure jobs within the security forces.⁴
Finally, in November 2017, it was reported that officials within the Ministry of Defence were on the brink of revealing the identities of several senior security figures implicated in the embezzlement of military food allowances and the drawing of salaries from up to 13,000 ghost employees.³ Rather have the Ministry of Defence suppress the report, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General instructed the Prosecutor General to open an investigation into the allegations.³

Prosecutions of defence officials for corruption are exceedingly rare, despite some legislation in place.1,2 Allegations of corruption within the defence sector are often investigated, although offenders are rarely held accountable. This is frequently due to political considerations and executive interference in the justice system.
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.⁶ The same month, four judges and a court clerk were arrested on suspicion of corruption.⁷ 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”.⁷ For instance, in 2011, an army colonel was arrested for allegedly embezzling approximately EUR 457,000 of military funds.⁵ He was detained and suspended from undertaking his military activities, but there is no evidence he was subsequently prosecuted.⁵ In February 2016, the identities of four senior military leaders arrested for embezzlement were publicly revealed. Among more than the 20 arrested individuals were:
– Colonel Major Mary Diaar, from MDAC’s finance and equipment division
– Colonel Cheick Hamalla Traoré, from the budget and finance division
– Colonel Satao, from the general staff of the armed forces
– Captain Achofikoi Maïga, from the IT division.³
However, as of April 2018, there have been no reported charges brought against them.
In 2014, defence contracts signed under 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 600million but budgeted at CFA 3 billion.⁸ ⁹ 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, and the central court arrested Maïga – it is unclear whether he was tried, charged or fined. But in December 2017, he returned to government to serve as IBK’s Prime Minister, suggesting that the clear failure of oversight and the subsequent arrest had a limited impact on the standing of the president’s ally.
Similarly, there have still been no charges brought against anyone in connection with the controversial off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet for USD35-40 million without parliamentary approval in 2014. Although the scandal caused the IMF to suspend its aid programme and prompted the BVG to conduct an exceptional audit into the purchase, no further action has been taken despite IBK’s promise earlier that year to prioritise fighting corruption.¹⁰ ¹¹
During this exceptional audit, the BVG determined the cost to be CFA 19 billion (around USD40 million), of which CFA 1.4 billion were commissions and fees paid to a broker linked to the president’s friend, Michel Tomi.¹⁰ ¹¹ Moreover, the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, highlighting the limited ability of independent and external audit bodies to perform their functions in the face of opposition from the executive.¹⁰ ¹¹
The one rare case of a prosecution came in November 2016, when the daughter of a military general, who worked as a cook at a police training school, was condemned to five years in prison and ordered to repay 75 million CFA (USD 140,500) to 95 victims.⁴ Sergeant Aminata Kané was found guilty of having solicited bribes to facilitate successful applications for posts in the customs authority, the police, the gendarmerie and the national guard.⁴ Applicants had been “encouraged” to pay between CFA 100,000 and CFA 5 million to secure jobs within the security forces.⁴ However, the isolated prosecution of a lowly sergeant for a case involving USD 140,500 cannot make up for the lack of judicial action in relation to the off-budget purchase of a presidential jet for USD 35-40 million.

No evidence of a policy to publicise the outcomes of the prosecution of defence services personnel for corrupt activities was found. The only example of a public outcome of the prosecution of defence services personnel is the Adib case, which dates back to the late 1990s / early 2000s (1)(2). But in that case the outcome of the prosecution made available concerned Captain Adib, a whistleblower, and not the officers he accused of partaking in corruption activities.

As of October 2018 no legal public action was taken against the suspects. The main suspect, General Bennani (a close relation of the King and former general in charge of the Western Sahara region) passed away in 2015 of unrelated causes without having been prosecuted.

The only example of a public outcome of the prosecution of defence services personnel is the Adib case, which dates back to the late 1990s / early 2000s (1)(2).But in that case the outcome of the prosecution made available concerned Captain Adib, a whistleblower, and not the officers he accused of partaking in corruption activities.

As of October 2018 no legal public action was taken against the suspects. The main suspect, General Bennani (a close relation of the King and former general in charge of the Western Sahara region) passed away in 2015 of unrelated causes without having been prosecuted.

The only example of a public outcome of the prosecution of defence services personnel is the Adib case, which dates back to the late 1990s / early 2000s (1)(2). But in that case the outcome of the prosecution made available concerned Captain Adib, a whistleblower, and not the officers he accused of partaking in corruption activities.

As of October 2018 no legal public action was taken against the suspects. The main suspect, General Bennani (a close relation of the King and former general in charge of the Western Sahara region) passed away in 2015 of unrelated causes without having been prosecuted. The Adib case shows that corruption cases within the military are superficially investigated, or receive “show” hearings in which defendants are not punished.

No evidence was found of a formal policy to make public outcomes of the prosecution of defence services personnel for corrupt activities (1, 2). For example, there is no provision in the Military Code of 2003 (3), Chapter 1 (The Military Judicial Police), Articles 46–49, or Chapter III (Prosecution and Criminal Proceedings) about making public the outcome of prosecutions against an officer accused of corruption. This policy probably does not exist.

The results of prosecution are rarely made publicly available, and usually, there is no detailed public information on the charges or the hearing (1,2) .

There is very little public information regarding cases of security and defence personnel’s involvement in cases of corruption. Investigations regarding policemen or military officers are rare (1,2) .

There is no formal policy that the MOD or anti-corruption agencies have to make prosecution outcomes public information. There is an informal practice that does so, but no formal requirement. The recommendations of a presidential probe into military procurement between 2007-2015 was well-publicized. The policy is not clear, but sometimes with particularly egregious offences, there is more publicity. Cases with significant public interest such as the dismissal and or forced retirement of senior officials received a great deal of information available regarding their dismissal and subsequent prosecution (1).

There is no formal policy to make the outcomes of the prosecution of defence personnel public. Although there have been some high-profile prosecutions of defence personnel, the outcomes have not been made public as the trials are ongoing. The recommendations of the Presidential Probe into military procurement between 2007-2015 were well-publicized. This is a recent example which can be seen to demonstrate the degree commitment of the Buhari administration to tackle corruption (1).

Further, although there have been several prosecutions of defence personnel this has not been sustained. A part of the FGN commitment during the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process is to improve dialogue and communication with the public. Some other OGP commitments include: Develop a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism on transparency, accountability and good governance between citizens and government to facilitate a culture of openness, Government-Civil Society to jointly review existing legislation on transparency and accountability issues and make recommendations to the National Assembly; adopt a technology-based citizens’ feedback on projects and programs across transparency and accountability. Sometimes when information regarding prosecutions is made public, significant or critical details may be missing (2).

The mentioned cases were high-profile and unusual. There is no evidence of the same information being provided for all prosecutions.

Currently, several prosecutions are ongoing. The political pressure has been focused on getting convictions, rather than derailing the investigations or the prosecution of top military officials (1).

There is no policy in the defence institutions to make outcomes of prosecution publicly available. According to Article 62 in the Basic Statute (1), corruption and bribery within the military and security services fall under the military judiciary exclusively. There is no policy regarding transparency of military courts, nor is there any stipulation on transparency within the Basic Statute (1), (2). According to our sources, there is no policy and no practice of making such information internally available within the different units of the army (3), (4).

No information on prosecutions in military courts is made publicly available. Publishing information on the prosecutions can be criminalized (1), (2). No media reports were found relating to corruption prosecution cases involving defence personnel (3), (4), (5). The open access to the information document on the eGovernment website, Omanuna, states clearly that issues regarding national security remain data protected (6). The military judiciary has no website, and no information or reference is made to the military judiciary activities on the Ministry of Defence website (1).

There is no information on the prosecution of defence services personnel for corruption activities available to the public (1), (2). The effectiveness of the military judiciary is weak. Most cases are superficially investigated without any serious consequences. There are rarely hearings of any kind.

Court proceedings and referrals to military prosecutions are not made public because there are no government procedures or legal provisions to support the publication of the information (1). Outcomes of prosecution are rarely publicly available if the cases are about corruption. Major incidents outside of corruption may result in a public outcome or prosecution (2), (3).

Court proceedings and referrals to the military prosecution are not made public because there are no government procedures or legal provisions to support the publication of such information (1). Prosecution of military personnel for other crimes is usually not publicly available (such as killings, shooting of civilians and attacks against civilians in demonstrations) (2).

Investigations or prosecutions are rare and usually superficial, even in the face of clear evidence (1), (2). There have been many cases of corruption where evidence was publicly available, but the PA has not prosecuted these cases. For instance, the ACC report mentions dozens of corruption cases and hundreds of missing financial records from senior officials (3). None of these issues has been investigated and prosecuted as per the report.
There are several cases of punishment policy towards corrupted security members: For example, the number of punished soldiers was: in 2009, (711), in 2010 (47), in 2011 (87), in 2012 (19), Aman Annual Corruption Report 2012 (p. 29), and in 2014, two members of the Public Prosecution were accused of corruption crimes, and they were referred to the Corruption Crimes Court; one of them holds the position of chief prosecutor and the second was a deputy prosecutor (4).

There is no policy obliging defence institutions to make the outcomes of prosecutions publicly available. Prosecution of military personnel is confidential and almost all data related to the military, including its judicial system and internal processes, are confidential. [1,2]

There is no transparency in relation to the prosecution of defence personnel for corrupt activities. Information about the defence and security sectors are treated as confidential state secrets. There is no information available about prosecutions on any of the governmental websites. [1,2,3]

According to sources within the MoD, cases are investigated but superficially. Internally, the investigation also is superficial, and the hearings of defendants are simply to comply with procedure. [1,2,3]

The Saudi Anti-Corruption Law of 2007 states, authorities are obliged to publish the results of corruption cases “upon the request of the general prosecutor and the approval of the authority considering the case” (1). According to our sources, the legal framework indicates that corruption persecution of officials must be published to the public (2), (3), (4).

According to our sources, the government publishes information about cases, but they do not provide detailed information about the outcome of the prosecution process itself. According to our sources, there is a lack of transparency and enforcement (1), (2), (3).
The Saudi government typically does not release details of investigations or prosecutions relating to public officials, and such cases are primarily covered by the international press rather than local media outlets. The anti-corruption drive led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in November 2017 did release some details relating to the individuals arrested and the charges against them, including senior military personnel such as then head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard Miteb bin Abdullah, who was accused of embezzlement and conflict of interest. Nonetheless, the government does not widely circulate or publish these details, and the abovementioned charges against Miteb bin Abdullah were again primarily published by international press sources including Reuters based on private discussions with Saudi government officials (4).

According to our sources, there is a lack of effectiveness in the prosecution of corruption cases. The recent crackdown on corruption is politically motivated that aims at strengthening MBS’ position in the royal family as the most powerful person. Cases are superficially investigated (1), (2), (3). The aforementioned anti-corruption campaign led by Mohammed bin Salman has targeted members of the Saudi military and defence establishment. However, this drive has attracted substantial criticism from international rights groups and observers, who have claimed that the detentions and investigations are an attempt by the crown prince to consolidate power, remove potential rivals and seize funds from the detainees to advance his reform programs (4). There is little information published regarding the status of many of the detainees or the penalties against them, and the trials, if there are any, are not public.

Article 108 of the constitution provides that all prosecutions should be publicly available (1). The code of military justice in article 40 grants this same principle, otherwise the results of these prosecutions should be considered null and void. However, the court may order that the debates be held on camera in accordance with the law or whenever it believes that advertising can undermine the army. In all cases judgements must be pronounced publicly (2).

According to our sources, the outcomes of prosecutions are usually made public, but they often lack detail and hearings and charges are not published, which leave a room for speculations and rumours which in turn affect trust in the military judicial system (1,2). The Ministry of Defence does not publish statements and does not communicate about this issue on its website or in the media (3).

According to our sources, some cases have been investigated and prosecuted, but not all of the cases are prosecuted, and many are superficially investigated (1,2). The Anti-Corruption Authority (INLUCC) annual report for the year 2017 mentions that 7 cases of corruption have been transmitted to justice by the Ministry of Defence (3).

There is no evidence to suggest that there is a policy within the defence institutions to make the outcomes of prosecutions publicly available. Furthermore, there is no evidence of any public information available about the prosecution of cases of corruption within the defence institutions themselves. As previously explained, several laws apply to defence sector personnel concerning corruption and bribes. These include the armed forces-specific Federal Laws No. 6 and 7 of 2004, the UAE Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 (as amended) (the “Penal Code”); the UAE Federal Law No. 21 of 2001 concerning Civil Service; the Dubai Government Human Resources Management Law No. 27 of 2006; and the Abu Dhabi Law No. 1 of 2006 concerning Civil Service in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (1), (2). Cases of corruption within the army (if they exist) are handled secretly and never made public (4), (5).

There is a total lack of transparency about making the outcomes of the prosecution of defence personnel available to the public. Researchers could not identify a single case of defence corruption made publicly available whether officially by prosecutors or through the media. The websites of the UAE’s official government portal, the Ministry of Defence and official media outlets do not mention a single case of corruption within the defence forces (1), (2), (3). Some information is shared on the government’s website about Public Prosecution, but this information only includes procedures followed, rather than cases or outcomes (4), (5).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no defence institution policy to make the outcomes of prosecutions publicly available, as set out in 49A, it is irrelevant within this context to assess the policy’s effectiveness as it is non-existent (1), (2).

Country Sort by Country 49a. Policy Sort By Subindicator 49b. Transparency Sort By Subindicator 49c. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 0 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 0 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Jordan 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Mali 0 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Saudi Arabia 100 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 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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