24 September, 2020

The Siphon On Top

Living standards and corruption are directly related to each other. India ranks 124 on the HDI index, in the corruption ranks it scores a lowly 2.7 out of 10.

illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
The Siphon On Top
This woman is dangerous". That's how French newspapers described Eva Joly, a fearless magistrate who blew the lid off the notorious Elf corruption scandal. French citizens discovered how, over several years, their largest oil company had spent some one billion dollars bribing politicians and bureaucrats. The story is typically French, involving the debonair ex-foreign minister Roland Dumas, a celebrated lawyer who defended Picasso and was a buddy of late president Francois Mitterand. Elf bosses transferred luxury apartments and huge sums of money to his mistress, the sexy Christine Deviers-Joncour, to influence her lover, lavish gifts like $50,000 Greek figurines and $1,700 handmade ankle boots. Eva Joly's relentless investigation led to convictions and jail terms between six months and two years. European dailies anointed her "Person of the Year" in 2001. Last week, a French court confirmed the convictions of all except Dumas. He was acquitted because the judge pronounced it was not proven that Dumas knew his mistress was funded by Elf. It created a furore, with cries of there...


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