The International Enforcement Law Reporter

The International Enforcement Law Reporter is a monthly print and online journal covering news and trends in international enforcement law.

Since September 1985, the International Enforcement Law Reporter has analyzed the premier developments in both the substantive and procedural aspects of international enforcement law. Read by practitioners, academics, and politicians, the IELR is a valuable guide to the difficult and dynamic field of international law.

Justice Department Faces Setback as Two Businessmen Acquitted in Bribery Scheme

Two American businessmen accused of planning to bribe the defense minister of Gabon were acquitted of criminal charges on January 30, 2012.  The two men were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits bribing foreign officials.  The jury has acquitted two of the accused, but will continue deliberating on three remaining defendants.

Issue 3, Volume 28, March 2012 Issue

The March 2012 issue of the International Enforcement Law Reporter is now available.  Articles in this isssue that might be especially interesting to our readers include "IRS Reopens Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program," on page 80, and "Mexico Extradites Man Charged With Murder of ICE Special Agent," on page 92.  If you are currently a subscriber to the IELR and wish to receieve a PDF version, please send us an email.  If you would like to subscribe to the IELR, please visit our Subscription page.

ICC Charges Four Kenyan Officials with Crimes Related to 2007 Election Violence

On January 23, 2012, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued two decisions regarding the indictments brought against six Kenyan officials in response to the post-election violence that broke out following the 2007 presidential election.  In the decisions, the ICC found that it had "substantial grounds to believe" that four of the six had committed crimes against humanity and other serious offenses, and that they would be tried before the ICC at a later date.  The four are also accused of orchestrating attacks against civilian supporters of opposition political parties in Kenya in 2007 and early 2008.  All four men are prominent figures in Kenya, and three hold or have held important government positions. The ICC ruling may have long-lasting repercussions in the African nation, and will likely affect the Kenyan presidential race depending on the outcome of the appeal and trial.

Decision 1

Decision 2

Japanese Company to Pay $54.6 Million After FCPA Probe

In a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Marubeni Corp., a Japanses trading company, will pay the U.S. government $54.6 million dollars for bribing Nigerian officials to receive natural gas contracts on Bonny Island, Nigeria.  Between 1995 and 2004, Marubeni was awarded $6 billion dollars in contracts, which it obtained through bribery.  The Justice Department recently filed a deferred-prosecution agreement charging Marubeni with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribery of foreign officials.  

OECD Reprimands Japan, Italy, and Switzerland for Poor Enforcement of Anti-Bribery Laws

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has issued reports on the corruption enforcement efforts in Japan, Italy, and Switzerland.  The OECD critizied Japan for poor implementation of its anti-bribery laws, and for only prosecuting two cases since their inception.  Italy was criticized for only sanctioning 3 companies and 9 individuals, and Switzerland was rebuked for only successfully prosecuting one individual, despite the strong possibility of corruption in its financial sector. The OECD urged reforms and that the signatory countries take more action to combat corruption and bribery.

Civil Society Groups Express Concern with Proposed FCPA Changes

Over thirty civil society groups sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives recently to protest any attempt to change the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  FCPA is currently used to prevent U.S. individuals and companies from engaging in corruption or bribery abroad.  The civil society groups wish for the interpretation of FCPA to remain broad, while proposed amendments would limit its future impact.

Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant for Duchess of York

Turkish prosecutors are threatening Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, with 22 years in prison for illegally obtaining footage of orphans while she was visiting Turkey in 2008.  ABC News interviewed IELR editor Bruce Zagaris on the issue.  Mr. Zagaris stated that Ms. Ferguson faces extradition to Turkey if she travels abroad from the United Kingdom, “[e]specially in those countries that have an extradition treaty, and that’s most of the world.” Turkey, as a member of NATO, has extradition treaties with many countries in Europe and around the world, therefore making it difficult for Ms. Ferguson to travel.

IRS to Reopen Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

On January 9th, the Internal Revenue Service issued a press release on the reopening of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.  Unlike the previous two programs, the new initiative will be open indefinitely.  The penalty structure remains the same except for those in the highest penalty category, who will see a penalty increase of 25 percent to 27.5 percent of the highest aggregate balance in their undeclared foreign account of the last eight years.  These new rules are subject to change at any time from the IRS.    

Artwork Stolen from Museum in Greece

Thieves stole works from Picasso and Mondrian from the National Art Gallery in Athens, Greece, this week.  The heist involved careful planning, as the thieves had tested the alarm system during previous visits to the museum.  Officials could not immediately confirm the price of the paintins, but they were significant works by the two famous artists.  The museum has a variety of international organizations to turn to for help recovering the painting, including Interpol and Europol, which have databases of stolen works.

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