World Bulletin/News Desk
The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will lead a review of Bangladesh's investigation of alleged corruption tied to a major bridge project, the World Bank said late on Friday.
Luis Moreno Ocampo will head the three-member panel and deliver a report to the World Bank, one of several steps necessary for the Washington-based development institution to resume its $1.2 billion line of credit. Ocampo sought to prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity at the ICC, located in The Hague, Netherlands.
The World Bank canceled funding for the Padma River development in Bangladesh in June, saying it had "credible evidence" of high-level corruption among Bangladeshi government officials.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge, at 4 miles (6.2 km) long, would be the longest water crossing in the country, linking the underdeveloped south with the capital Dhaka and the main port of Chittagong.
The bank said it would resume financing of the project once agreed measures with the government were implemented.
These include an outside panel of experts to assess the credibility of the government's investigation into allegations of corruption in the bridge project by the specially appointed Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh (ACC).
Joining Ocampo on the panel are Timothy Tong, the former commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong, and Richard Alderman, former director of Britain's Serious Fraud Office.
A report of its findings will also go to the government.
Bangladesh, as agreed, put all officials suspected of involvement in the alleged corruption on leave until a full investigation is completed, the World Bank said previously.
The other measures agreed were the appointment of a special inquiry and prosecution team within the ACC to conduct the investigation; and the introduction of new procurement arrangements for the project, with more oversight and transparency to ensure clean construction of the bridge.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the development lender is committed to ensuring the Padma project is implemented with integrity.
"This panel creates a unique opportunity for the people of Bangladesh to raise the bar on transparency, public accountability and governance," Kim said in the statement.
Two former executives from Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, which bid to supervise the contractor on the bridge project, appeared in a Toronto court in July accused of bribing officials in Bangladesh.
Canada launched an investigation last year into allegations of corruption in the bridge bidding process after the World Bank brought the issue to their attention.
Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco and Oracle hold about $504B, approximately one-third of all corporate cash in the United States
The Fund's head says 'corruption has a pernicious effect on the economy'
Exit would cost average monthly salary for each household, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says
Firms to see deterioration in credit metrics as low oil prices impact cash flows
OPEC exporters as well as other non-OPEC producers, including Russia, fail to agree on oil output freeze
Moody's has upgraded Argentina's credit rating after a US appeals court ruling this week cleared the way for Buenos Aires to proceed with the biggest debt issue by an emerging market country in 20 years.
Ahead of Doha meeting, OPEC says 'hurdles prevail as oversupply persists and inventories remain high'
Kuwaiti OPEC head says Russia and OPEC are likely to agree on oil output freeze
'The good news is that the recovery continues; we have growth; we are not in crisis,' Christine Lagarde says
The meeting is a 'follow-up' to last month's talks between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela when they proposed an accord to freeze oil output at January levels
'They are not trimming output, only keeping it at the same levels...this is the same unchanged policy,' one expert says
Iran joining Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia in freezing oil output levels
According to the ratings agency Moody’s, Iran is fiscally and structurally well placed to come back into the global economic scene
PM Davutoglu meets the heads of the world's largest companies as he promotes Turkish economic interests at World Economic Forum
Fund cuts global growth forecasts for both 2016 and 2017 by 0.2 percentage points
'Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population'