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Tue 24 Mar 2015 01:22 PM

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Bahrain corruption cases said to drop by 25%

Latest Financial Audit Bureau report says five 'major' cases of suspected corruption still under investigation

Bahrain corruption cases said to drop by 25%
Bahrain has seen near daily protests since the start of the unrest in early 2011

The number of reported corruption cases in Bahrain dropped by more than a quarter between 2013 and 2014, according to the country’s latest Financial Audit Bureau report.

Bahrain’s Cabinet welcomed the findings, claiming that “Bahrain is winning its battle against corruption”, according to the Gulf Daily News.

It reported that the number of financial and administrative violations dropped by 25 percent last year, while gross violations reported to the Public Prosecution for legal action dropped by 80 percent, and cases requiring administrative measures fell by 17 percent.

However, the report highlighted five “major” cases of suspected corruption that have been referred to the Public Prosecution for investigation. No details about the cases were revealed in the report, the newspaper said, but criminal proceedings will be launched if sufficient evidence is uncovered.

Seven other cases of alleged corruption are still being reviewed by the Cabinet's executive committee to determine whether criminal or administrative proceedings are required.

A total of 334 violations out of the 346 documented in the bureau’s report, have been classified as “administrative”, meaning they will be dealt with internally and do not require criminal prosecution.

Total violations were down from 2012, when 462 offences were documented by the Financial Audit Bureau - 25 of which resulted in criminal prosecutions, while 404 were deemed administrative and another 33 required further review.

Isa Al Hammadi, Bahrain’s information affairs minister and official government spokesman, reportedly told a press conference on Monday: “It is difficult to end violations entirely within a certain time frame because as work develops and changes occur, with it comes issues. Switzerland, for example, which started issuing similar reports annually way before us, is still dealing with violations.

“But we must acknowledge that Bahrain has seen violations drop by more than a quarter from its previous report.

“Even [the number of] “major” corruption cases are just a fifth of what they were, from 25 [in 2012] to five [in 2013].”

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