Announcements

Call for Nominations for 2019 Corrupt Person of the Year Award

OCCRP is accepting nominations for the 2019 Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption. Please nominate the global figure you believe has earned the title of OCCRP’s “person of the year’’ based on their own corrupt behavior or their “contribution” to organized crime and corruption anywhere in the world this year.

Police Files in Kuciak Murder to Be Opened to Journalists

We at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and our member centers were shocked by the brutal murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiance, Martina Kušnírová, on Feb. 21, 2018.

A tribute to Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Credit: OCCRP)A tribute to Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Credit: OCCRP)

OCCRP Statement on Cyprus Government Response to Recent Investigation

The Cypriot government responded on Saturday to an OCCRP investigation from Aug. 14. Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou described the report as “libel” and said “it did not correspond to reality.” The story reported that a law firm established and co-owned at the time by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades facilitated transactions with companies that are part of the Troika Laundromat, a secretive financial vehicle that has been used to carry out financial crimes.

Credit: Edint PasovicCredit: Edint Pasovic

Libel is defined as inaccurate information that defames a person. But the report cannot constitute libel, as it relates only facts backed by documented evidence. We stand by our reporting.

The OCCRP story in question reports that:

(a) the law firm established by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the 1970s, of which he was a co-owner until February 2013, and of which his two daughters are now shareholders 

(b) facilitated transactions carried out by Batherm Ventures Limited and Matias Co. Limited, with Delco Networks S.A. and Gotland Industrial Inc., companies that were major players in the Troika Laundromat,

(c) which, in turn, is known to be a Russian-controlled financial vehicle that has been used to carry out financial crimes, including money laundering, tax evasion, bribes, and concealment of assets, many for senior leaders of politics and business in Russia.

(d) Mr. Anastasiades was a partner in the firm at the time these transactions took place.

(e) All the above are facts documented in the story and past OCCRP reports.

As a professional news organization, OCCRP takes accuracy extremely seriously. As with all our investigations, this story went through a rigorous fact-checking process. If any facts reported in the story are found to be in error, OCCRP will make the necessary correction. No one has denied any of these facts, and all are supported with documents OCCRP obtained. 

Both Mr. Anastasiades and the law firm, including every single one of its shareholders, were offered an opportunity to comment on the findings of the investigation several weeks ahead of publication. None of them opted to do so. 

Thank a Whistleblower

When people think of whistleblowers they think of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg.

Yet whistleblowers seldom gain fame. Most remain anonymous by choice, content to provide investigative reporters with facts and evidence for crucial stories and then simply fade away.

WhistleWhistle (Photo: Zephryis BY CC 3.0)At some level, almost every journalist’s source is a whistleblower. Million-page document dumps are important, but so is disclosure of one page or even just one fact that a government or oligarch doesn’t want you to know.

Seldom acknowledged and almost never thanked, insiders who blow the whistle are the unsung heroes of a just society. Without them, corruption would run rampant, public institutions could evade accountability and the rapacious would go unchecked.

Threats to Press Freedom Undermine Investigation of Dark Money

UNESCO’s celebrations for World Press Freedom Day in Addis Ababa this week are meant to recognize an important turnaround for press freedom in one of the world’s least free countries. Since coming to power last year, Ethiopia’s new prime minister Abiy Ahmed has begun to reform its oppressive political system, releasing imprisoned journalists and lifting bans on independent outlets.

Protesters mark World Press Freedom Day in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)Protesters mark World Press Freedom Day in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)