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.
Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
Turkey deems Iranian gas too expensive compared with other suppliers like Russia and Azerbaijan, an assertion rejected by Tehran.
Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said he lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles.
BP's exploration and production sharing agreement with Libya covers onshore acreage in Ghadames, near the border between Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, and offshore acreage in the central Sirte basin
There are discussions at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources
The judicial sources said on Thursday that prosecutors suspected the companies of working together on campaigns to favour Lucentis, including promoting it to local doctors
Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing offered to meet Shell to discuss the future of the oil and gas industry if Scotland votes to end its 307-year tie with England
European Commission President said that from a purely financial standpoint the crisis in Ukraine should not have much impact on the euro zone but there was potential for far greater instability
The rouble-traded MICEX lost 1.9 percent on the news to trade at 1,322.2 points. It had earlier traded in positive territory.
If tensions eventually escalate into economic sanctions, the single biggest point of vulnerability for the Gulf would probably be the Dolphin Energy pipeline carrying about 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Qatar to the UAE and Oman
The former Soviet republic is strategically important to Moscow as the main gas transit route to the European Union, Russia's biggest customer
Iran will soon receive a second installment of previously frozen assets which are being returned to it under an interim nuclear agreement with world powers
Economic growth jumped to 5.2 percent in the last quarter, but Romania remains the second poorest country in the European Union
Brent crude prices decreased by 1.8 percent, more than US$2 per barrel on Wednesday.
The southeast European country sets out to achieve price stability by increasing the share of private entities in its state dominated energy sector.
Premier Li Keqiang also said at the start of the China's annual parliamentary session, that the country's 2014 growth target will be kept at 7.5 percent, inflation at 3.5 percent and broad M2 money supply growth at 13 percent.