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Former leaders behind bars for graft

A host of former country leaders have served time behind bars for corruption, with South Africa’s past president Jacob Zuma the latest to be jailed for 15 months on Thursday.

Here is a recap.

– Africa –

– SUDAN: Deposed president Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years, was sentenced in December 2019 to two years in a correctional centre for corruption.

He is also on trial for a 1989 military coup and is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur.

– Asia –

– SOUTH KOREA: Seoul’s top court in January 2021 upheld a 20-year prison sentence for former president Park Geun-hye, over the corruption scandal that brought her down.

The country’s first woman president in 2012, she was impeached in 2017 after huge street protests against her rule.

– PAKISTAN: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from politics for life by the Supreme Court in 2017 over graft allegations, and later received a seven-year jail sentence. He was freed on bail in October 2019 for medical reasons.

– KYRGYZSTAN: Former President Almazbek Atambayev (2011-2017) received an 11-year jail sentence for corruption. A court in 2020 ordered his corruption case to be retried.

– Europe –

– CROATIA: Ivo Sanader, prime minister from 2003 to 2009, was sentenced in November 2012 to 10 years in prison, accused of taking several million euros in bribes from the Hungarian energy giant MOL.

Investigated in several affairs, he was sentenced in April 2020 for embezzling several million euros, as he already served a prison sentence having accepted a 2.3 million euros in another affair.

– PORTUGAL: The former Socialist prime minister Jose Socrates (2005-2011) spent more than nine months in temporary detention before being placed under house arrest in September 2015 and released six weeks later.

A Portuguese judge cleared the way in April 2021 for Socrates to stand trial for alleged money laundering and falsifying documents, but cleared him of corruption charges in the years-long case.

– ROMANIA: Adrian Nastase, a Social Democrat prime minister from 2000 to 2004, was sentenced to four and a half years for corruption in 2012.

He was freed early in March 2013 but jailed again in 2014 for several months for accepting bribes.

– SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO: President from 2003 to 2006, Svetozar Marovic was handed a 46-month term in 2016 for corruption.

He was the only president of the short-lived country, which broke up in 2006 when Montenegro proclaimed independence.

– MOLDOVA: Ex-prime minister Vlad Filat (2009-2013) was dramatically arrested in parliament in 2015 over allegations of accepting bribes worth some $260 million.

He was sentenced to nine years in jail for corruption and abuse of office.

– Latin America –

– GUATEMALA: President from 2000 to 2004, Alfonso Portillo was detained in 2010 and extradited to the United States where he was sentenced to five years and 10 months for money-laundering.

He returned to Guatemala in 2015 after serving just over a year in a US jail in consideration of the time already served while fighting extradition and on trial.

Otto Perez became Guatemala’s president in 2012 but was forced to resign in 2015 and then detained over allegations of organising a fraud ring which netted him $800,000 in bribes.

In October 2017 he was ordered to stand trial for racketeering, illicit enrichment and fraud.

– PERU: President from 1990 to 2000, Alberto Fujimori entered jail in 2009 after being sentenced to 25 years for rights abuses, including ordering massacres and corruption.

Ollanta Humala, Peru’s president from 2011 to 2016, entered prison in July 2017 and spent nine months in pre-trial detention. This followed charges of accepting illegal campaign donations worth $3 million from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

– BRAZIL: Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) started a 12-year sentence for corruption in 2018, after he was accused of accepting bribes in the Petrobras scandal. He spent 18 months behind bars, before the Supreme Court annulled his convictions on procedural grounds.

– Middle East –

– ISRAEL: The 2006-2009 prime minister Ehud Olmert entered jail in February 2016 with a 27-month prison term for taking bribes, fraud, corruption and obstructing justice.

Olmert was freed in July 2017 on parole.