Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Update: Azerbaijani oil & corruption

Just filling out a bit of a black hole of my coverage: oil and corruption in and around Azerbaijan. First, an American businessman is in trouble over bribing his way towards control over oil:

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog / Breaking: Jury Finds Frederic Bourke Guilty of Bribery-Related Charges
Frederic Bourke, a founder of the accessories firm Dooney & Bourke, guilty of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the travel act and making false statements to federal law-enforcement officials. The charges were related to a scheme to bribe Azerbaijan government officials in connection with the privatization of the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan.

Village Voice / Azerbaijan Bribery Trial Features George Mitchell, Suitcases Stuffed with Money
Along with Viktor Kozeny, an investor buddy who was his neighbor at a ski residence in Aspen, Bourke schemed to pay millions to the government of Azerbaijan in order to gain control of the state-owned oil company there.

Second, bloggers are targeted by authorities:

Azerbaijan: Citizen media in defense of detained activists, bloggers
(They are being charged with hooliganism for being 'militant pacifist bloggers'!?!?)

Third, a chopper has crashed:

A case brought before court over SOCAR staff copter crash in Azeri part of Caspian Sea

All just from a Google search of recent news. I will not forget that region from now on, promise.

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