OCCRP Weekly News Roundup: From Tainted Soccer to Government Fraud

05 June 2012


By Matt SarneckiTainted Soccer

As the world gears up for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, pressure builds on Ukraine over embattled former premier Yulia Tymoshenko. On Wednesday, , the Ukrainian parliament member who was shot and killed in 1996. Authorities are preparing to bring charges against Tymoshenko for the murder, which could extend her sentence to 2023.

Tymoshenko’s imprisonment, along with in Ukraine, have provoked calls by some European officials and to consider boycotting the games, which will be co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland starting next week.


Eurovision or Tunnelvision?

By Valerie Hopkins

This may not be the year of “sexy” for Eurovision between the , Ireland’s Siamese duo Jedward, and Montenegro’s .  Off-screen, the chances of sex appeal won’t be any higher due to allegations that Azerbaijan’s hotels have installed hidden cameras to the sexual activity of guests.

A local human rights group, Azad Genclik Teskilati (Free Youth), says that “hidden cameras are installed on the premises of without exception,” warning that incriminating footage could be “later be used against tourists for blackmail.”  It remains to be seen if these allegations are substantiated, but .

EURO CUP and EUROVISION: What about EURO standards?

Valerie Hopkins

Two major European events are occurring this year outside the continent’s traditional confines.  Ukraine is anticipating the biggest influx of tourists since it separated from the Soviet Union 20 years ago for the upcoming Euro Cup games and  Azerbaijan will greet hordes eager for Eurovision spectacle.

Sadly, the efforts to prepare for those events  have hardly observed the traditional European standards of transparency and professionalism.

We’ll tackle Azerbaijan tomorrow on the eve of the Eurovision final.  Today, let’s focus on Ukraine.  The country is curently suffering from a bad public image what with its ailing former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko behind bars and the , is taking security and crowd control seriously. Officials are deploying surface to air missiles and will have fighter jets on standby as an anti-terrorism measure. No such show of force has been announced against corruption and prostitution?

OCCRP Weekly News Roundup: Good intentions can have bad results.

Valerie Hopkins

This is not a good week for the bad guys, but it isn’t great for the good guys, either.

An 18 year old Ukrainian girl who was gang raped and set ablaze by three men, two of whom were sons of local politicians, .

An Albanian reporter is facing charges for simply doing her job covering a dispute between high level officials. The Prime Minister’s office filed charges against journalist Lindita Cela for her coverage of politicians accusing one another of being part of the repressive communist regime that ruled the country until 1992.  

OCCRP Weekly Roundup: Assets, Assassins and Pirates

By Valerie Hopkins

As the United States mulls normalizing trade relations with Russia, Russia’s president is pushing for a law that would mandate that , company shares and cars, President Medvedev announced on Tuesday at a meeting of the Kremlin anti-corruption council.

 Now, as he prepares to hand the reins back to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he has urged that the proposal be finalized next week.  If passed, all officials will have to disclose asset purchases if “the amount of money spent by an official or his family member in a single deal exceeds the total three-year official incomes of his family members.”