24 Dec 2013

Lawyer leads anti-corruption drive in Libya

Ranked as the 172nd least honest country on the 177-long Corruptions Perceptions Index, Libya clearly has major problems - but the lawyer appointed to fight corruption is seen as having a better chance than most would.

Beghazi: anti-corruption efforts Dona_Bozzi

Lawyer Tariq al Walid heads a team of 200 in his post as the Finance Ministry's chief anti-corruption official. He goes about his work in an oblique way at times. In an interview with the Financial Times, he says: 'I cannot fight corruption necessarily with my position in the ministry.  I do it behind the scenes, through other organisations. I go and write the complaints and I give them to other organisations to publicise and use it as ammunition. I don’t come out as the face of it all.'

Survived

Someone who served under the Gaddafi regime as well, he is seen as a survivor and a lawyer with proven tactical success. 'He seemed to be a long-timer in government, somebody who has survived various colours of government,' says Christophe Wilcke of Transparency International. Mr Walid described to the FT the kinds of corruption he has to deal with - entrepreneurs receiving grants to provide training that never materialises and, for instance, armed forces which seek what amounts to protection money. He says: 'Churchill once made the point that the last man to abandon a sunken ship is the captain. The last person who ought to be corrupt is the judge, but when we live in a society where even the judiciary is corrupt then what do you expect.' Source: Financial Times

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