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Anti-corruption chief: complaints quintupled in 2013

Nov. 17, 2013 2:33 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 2, 2014 9:43 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The number of civilian complaints regarding corruption in Palestinian ministries and other governmental institutions has increased recently, the chief of the Palestinian anti-corruption commission told Ma'an.

Rafiq al-Natshah said that "as a result of increasing confidence in the anti-corruption commission, complaints have quintupled in 2013 compared to 2012."

He asserted that his commission received hundreds of complaints in 2013 and that all complaints are being addressed.

"Nevertheless," al-Natshah pointed out, "Palestinian courts take a long time to make decisions in cases referred by the commission, as a result of repeated appeals."

"According to Palestinian law," he said, "corruption cases should be reviewed in three days and resolutions should arrive within 10 days."

"Some cases, especially those involving Palestinian ministers, should have been closed two years ago, but they have been delayed until now," al-Natshah added.

He said that judiciary officials promised to finish these cases soon.

The anti-corruption commission, said the chief, has been recently interrogating several high-ranking Palestinian including ministers, general managers, a district attorney and others.

Al-Natshah told Ma'an that cooperation between his commission and international organizations had made major strides thus far.

Millions of US dollars, he said, have been retrieved from Palestinian embezzlers who used to live in Jordan and Egypt. He gave examples of 42 million Israeli Shekels deposited in Jordanian banks, and 10 million dollars deposited in Egyptian banks which have been retrieved recently.
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