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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

Serbia: Foreign Bribery


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Situation


Leaked documents reported in the media alleged improper payments from Chinese state companies to Serbian officials via Singapore. Two investigative articles alleged that a former executive at a Serbian state telecom company received over 1 million USD in payments from an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands. The payments to the offshore company were linked to contracts with a major telecommunications company, some of which were for consulting services, including introducing the telecom company to Serbian government officials and arranging meetings for the company officials. Those payments correspond with a period when one of the parties was attempting to set up deals in Serbia and specifically in the period running up to the 150-million-euro deal signed in 2016 for the upgrade of Serbia’s telecommunications infrastructure.


ILP’s Action


ILP supported a partner organisation to access pro bono legal advice on relevant criminal and other relevant enforcement measures regarding this foreign bribery matter. The partner sought a legal assessment on whether existing documentary evidence was sufficient to file a criminal complaint in relevant jurisdictions, and what other enforcement or regulatory measures might be appropriate to help civil society ensure the allegations are properly investigated by authorities.


Impact


ILP’s legal advice and support has increased our partner’s capacity to tackle corruption, assisting them to identify viable actions to enforce criminal action against the multi-national corporation that has allegedly engaged in corruption for state contracts in a foreign jurisdiction. The partner has further been able to assess next steps in the possible legal action.

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