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.

ICC, Libyan Government Both Seek to Try el-Qaddafi

Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the son and presumptive heir of ex-Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, has been captured recently in Libya.  The ex-head of the Libyan intelligence service was also captured over the weekend by government forces.  This represents both an opportuntiy and a dilemma for the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has receieved assurances from the Libyan transitional government that both men will face trial in The Hague.  A trial at the ICC could bolster the image of both Libya and the ICC as legitimate entities enforcing international law.  However, the Libyan people also have a desire to try the men locally, which could lead the transitional government to break its promise to the ICC.

Citation: Marlise Simons, International Court Faces Key Test on Libyan Captives, The New York Times, November 20, 2011.

Khmer Rouge Leader Ruled Unfit for Trial

 [caption align=right]lENG Thirith[/caption]

Leng Thirith, the former minister of social affairs for the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, has been deemed unfit to stand trial due to Alzheimer's disease, in a ruling issued by a U.N.-backed tribunal in Cambodia.  The sister-in-law of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader who oversaw the deaths of over 1.7 million people during his genocidal rule, will be released in 24 hours unless prosecutors appeal.  Three co-defendants, all of whom were key figures in the old regime, still face trial.  

Citation: Sopheng Cheang, Cambodian genocide defendant ruled unfit for trial, Associated Press, November 17, 2011.

Russia Strengthens Anti-Money Laundering Laws

Russia has recently amended its anti-money laundering laws, partly in order to achieve full membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Developemnt (OECD).  The new laws concern the suspicious transaction reports filed by businesses which suspect possible money laundering transactions.  Failure to file these reports can result in fines or suspension of operations.  Russia's actions are also intended to meet OECD's anti-corruption benchmarks, which the IELR recently covered.  See Bruce Zagaris, G20 Agrees to Actions on Tax, Money Laundering, and Corruption Enforcement27 Int'l Enforcement L. Rep. (Jan 2011).

Citation: Sergei Blagov, Russia Amends Anti-Money Laundering Law To Enhance Enforcement, OECD Accession, Daily Report for Executives, November 10, 2011.

Ex-President of Guatemala to be Extradited to US

Alfonso Portillo, the former president of Guatemala, will be extradited to the United States to face embezzlement charges.  Current Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom assented to the U.S. extradition request after the Guatemalan high court approved the request in August.  Portillo, who is accused of embezzling $1.5 million in charitable donations, had previously been extradited from Mexico to Guatemala to face the charges, and was arrested again before he could flee Guatemala.

Citation: Associated Press, Guatemalan leader says he will authorize extradition of ex-president Alfonso Portillo, The Washington Post, November 15, 2011

Human Rights Watch Reports Crimes Against Humanity in Syria

[caption align=right]© 2011 Human Rights Watch[/caption]

Human Rights Watch released a report on Friday, November 11, 2011, condeming the actions of the Syrian government in the city of Homs.  According to the report, over a hundred civilians have been killed for protesting since the beginning of November.  The report also documented cases of prisoners being tortured and killed by Syrian security forces.  HRW called for Syria's suspension from the Arab League, for international sanctions, and for Syrian leaders to be brought before the International Criminal Court.

ICC Opens Possibility of Investigating NATO

The International Criminal Court is considering an investigation of NATO's actions during its campaign in Libya, according to some NATO officials.  As NATO is not a signatory to the ICC treaty, individual member nations might be signaled out instead for violations of wartime conventions.  The possible ICC probe follows comments by Russia and China that NATO overstepped the authority given it by the United Nations Security Council in toppling the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

Citation: Slobodon Lekic and Mike Corder, AP Exlcusive: NATO may face ICC Probe, Associated Press, November 11, 2011.

US Assitant Attorney Gen. Responds to Proposed FCPA Reforms

On November 8, 2011, Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Lanny A. Breuer, speaking at the 26th National Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), responded indirectly to calls by the business and criminal justice communities to reform the FCPA.  He said that the U.S. government will not support reforms whose purpose is to diminish the FCPA and make it more difficult to fight foreign bribery.  He noted that world trend towards strengthening anti-corruption (i.e., the UK Bribery Act that took effect in July and the Russian recent enactment of an anti-bribery law as well as the Russian ratification of the UN Convention against corruption and its anticipated accession to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

In an apparent response to criticisms, among others by the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Mr. Breuer promised to develop a "lay person's guide" to the FCPA and in 2012 to release detailed new guidance on the FCPA's criminal and civil enforcement provisions.  At a hearing on June 14, 20111 of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and homeland Security, the business and legal community said parts of the FCPA were ambiguous and without sufficient guidance.  See Bruce Zagaris, U.S. Congress Holds Hearing on Reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 27 Int'l Enforcement L. Rep. 850 (Aug. 2011).

Seven Indicted in International Cybercrime Operation

Six Estonians and one Russian national were recently indicited by the U.S. government for infecting millions of computers in over a hundred countries with a malware program that rerouted users to advertizing sites.  The FBI, in an investigation dubbed "Operation Ghost Click," traced the comptuer hijacking to a company in Estonia called Rove Digital.  The six Estonians were arrested, and face extradition to the United States, while the Russian remains at large.

Citation: FBI 'Operation Ghost Click' raid shuts down cyber criminals, The Telegraph, November 10, 2011.

US-Swiss Tax Enforcement Discussions

On November 7, 2011, Tax Notes International carried an article by a Swiss practitioner, Walter H. Boss, and a U.S. practitioner, William M. Sharp Sr. on the pending negotiations betwen the U.S. and Swiss governments on a potential global tax settlement concerning the Swiss banking data in the context of Swiss banking secrecy. 

The article is the latest of a series of cutting-edge articles and analysis by Bill Sharp, who has focused on the U.S. offshore voluntary disclosures, especially involving Switzerland.  The IELR will carry an article by Sandrine Giroud and some of her colleagues at the Swiss law firm of Lalive entitled "Switzerland: Varying Standards in the Exchange of Information in Tax Matters in the Wake of the UBS case and the German and UK Double Taxation Agreements."

Citation:  Walter H. Boss and William M. Sharp Sr., The Swiss-U.S. 'Turnover' Ground Rules:  A Technical Update, 64 Tax Notes International 423 (Nov. 7, 2011).

Cleared Guantanamo Detainees Still Imprisoned

Prisoners at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have been scheduled for transfer or release remain in prison due to conflicting congressional regulations and President Obama's inaction.  A law passed in 2011 requires the defense secretary to certify that freed inmates would not "engage or reengage in any terrorist activity," a requirement that has so far prohibited the release of any prisoners.  President Obama has so far declined to attempt to circumvent the 2011 law. 

Citation: Peter Finn, Detainees cleared for release are still waiting, The Washington Post, November 8, 2011.

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