Corruption in Georgia, Part II

by Andy on 4/11/2004 · 2 comments

Tim Whewell, the BBC correspondent, has been doing even more delving into the Georgian government’s battle against corruption. A radio documentary he recorded for the Crossing Continents series is here. (Its a permanent link this time). He’s spent the last week following around Irakli Okruashvili – Georgia’s new prosecutor general. I haven’t had time to listen to it all, but the short part I listened too sounded interesting.

There is also a text article about the program here, for those people like me who don’t have time to listen to the whole show. It seems like the main weapon the anti-corruption police have at their disposal at the moment is to record the incriminating words of criminals, and the law has just been changed to allow taped evidence into court.

If Georgia really wants to make a sincere effort to clean up corruption, this is certainly the time. As Saakashvili observes…

“If reformers wait too long, the window of opportunity will be shut,” he said. “It is a risky business, but if we do not try, we are 100% losers anyway.”

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Mark April 11, 2004 at 4:19 pm

Interesting story. To stop the cultural acceptance of bribery is tough. Now the problem is what will the drug dealers do with an honest cop around?
Good to see a country not just change hands from one corrupt leader to a new corrupt leader.

Andy April 11, 2004 at 5:13 pm

It’s definately good to see increased anti-corruption measures being taken. Although, cynic that I am, at this stage I’m not entirely convinced that Saakashvili isn’t trying to use it as a tool to selectively attack his opponents, and to secure his own hold on power. However, even if this is the case, it may be that, despite his intent, the seeds of an anti-corruption culture may be sown.

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