India’s political and military establishment is being rocked by a bribery allegation coming from none other than the Indian Army’s top official.
General Vijay Kumar Singh told The Hindu newspaper he was offered a $2.8 million bribe by a lobbyist if he would clear the way for the purchase of nearly 600 sub-standard trucks.
“He was offering the bribe to me, to the army chief. He told me that people had taken money before me and they will take money after me,” Singh said.
The allegation immediately reverberated throughout India’s power structure, and has “sparked a crisis that threatens to escalate into a frontal confrontation between the military brass, the Ministry of Defence’s civilian bureaucrats and the political leadership,” The Hindu reports.
A Swiss law professor and anti-corruption expert tapped by FIFA to lead the group advising the world soccer body on reforms says he will deliver a “tough” report this coming Friday.
“It’s going to be pretty tough. There are a few issues that will need heavy negotiation,” Mark Pieth told the Associated Press. “If they are wise, they will pick up most everything that is put before them.”
Pieth leads a 13-member panel known as the Independent Governance Committee, which “has examined the darkest chapters of FIFA’s recent history — including alleged bribery and vote-rigging in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests and its presidential election last year — to help understand how FIFA functions,” the AP reports.
The panel will likely recommend FIFA appoint outsiders to key positions in a bid to bring new blood into the organization, and to “create a truly independent process to investigate alleged corruption.”
Whether FIFA will accept the report’s findings is no sure thing, and involves some thorny internal politics. According to the AP, Pieth “must seek support from veteran FIFA power-brokers, including some who were cleared of suspected wrongdoing” and who were friends of those removed from office.
A corruption scandal involving the publicly owned Los Angeles Coliseum has resulted in the indictment of a half-dozen people – but now prosecutors say one of the men is still at large, allegedly hiding out in Panama.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, Tony Estrada “is accused of making $385,000 in illegal payments to former Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch.” Estrada is a longtime contractor for the Coliseum’s janitorial services.
The 29-count indictment charges six men, including Lynch and Estrada, with counts that “include embezzlement, bribery, conflict of interest and conspiracy,” the Times reports. The newspaper recently published a series of investigative stories on financial regularities at the historic Coliseum.