Ruling elite, generals, judges, media figures held accountable worldwide | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Ruling elite, generals, judges, media figures held accountable worldwide

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: While ruling elite, Army generals, court judges and media personalities continue to be treated as sacred cows in countries like Pakistan, their counterparts all over the world have been held culpable for committing a wide range of crimes, research shows.

Here follow a few precedents where long arm of law had clutched court judges: In April 2016, a former Arkansas judge was convicted of receiving bribes in exchange for lowering the damages awarded in a civil suit.

In March 2015, for the first time in Indian legal history, the parliament had initiated proceedings to attempt to impeach a judge over allegations of sexual harassment.

Justice S. K. Gangele had found himself in the dock after a female additional district judge had accused him of sexual harassment alleging that she was forced to resign from the judicial service due to his “advances and malicious aspirations.”

In March 2015, as many as 58 Rajya Sabha (Senate) members had submitted a petition to the Rajya Sabha Chairperson, Hamid Ansari, to initiate a motion of impeachment under Article 124 of the Indian Constitution against the accused arbiter.

In August 2015, the “Indian Express” had reported: “The three-judge committee, probing allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a former additional district and sessions judge of Gwalior against Justice Gangele of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, has said that there was “insufficient” material to establish the charge of sexual harassment. It has said that the case of the “complainant herself in regard to the three alleged incidents (of sexual harassment) is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.”

The case against the Madhya Pradesh High Court judge dates back to 2014, when a Sessions judge had filed a complaint before the Chief Justice of India and several other High Court judges about the sexual harassment she faced at the hands of Justice Gangele.

The August 4, 2014 edition of the “Hindustan Times” had stated: “According to reports, the accused had asked the female additional judge to “perform dance on an item song” at a function at his home and influenced her transfer to a remote location. Rejecting the charges made by the woman judge, who also headed a district-level committee to look into sexual harassment at workplace, the high court judge said he was ready to face any probe by any agency including an investigating agency.”

In December 2014, an Indian Supreme Court bench had quashed that inquiry saying that the state chief justice had not constituted the two-judge panel correctly and the panel’s role should have been to only determine whether a deeper probe was necessary.

Justice Gangele was then stripped of administrative and supervisory roles. In India, under the Indian Constitution and the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, some 50 members from the Rajya Sabha or 100 members from the Lok Sabha can sign a petition and hand it over to the Chairman or the Speaker (as is the case) to initiate the process of impeachment of a High Court or Supreme Court judge.

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of Rajya Sabha (that is, the Vice President) then appoints a committee with a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, a chief justice of a High Court and an eminent jurist. This committee takes evidence and prepares a report. If the report is unanimous, then the Speaker or the Chairman places it before each House. If two-thirds of both Houses vote against the judge, then it is presented to the President, who can remove the judge on the grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity.

In 1993, a similar motion was initiated against former Supreme Court judge Justice Ramaswami on charges of corruption.

Ramaswami was a judge of the Indian Supreme Court and the first arbiter against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated in independent India.

In the summer of 1990, Justice Ramaswami was accused of lavish expenditure at his official residence during his earlier stint as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In July of that year, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court told the judge to desist from discharging judicial functions so long as the investigations continued and until his name was cleared.

In 1991, the Supreme Court Bar Association had demanded his impeachment – also a radical new event.

Eventually in 1993, after a judicial committee found him guilty of most of the 11 charges, a group of 196 Lok Sabha MPs had begun proceedings towards impeachment.

According to Justice Srikrishna, a retired Supreme Court judge, it was said that Justice Ramaswami had a deal with the Congress government that he would resign from the post, but he had continued to hold the position in the Supreme Court till retirement.

In 2009, a petition was submitted by 58 Indian Senators to initiate proceedings against Justice Soumitra Sen, a judge of the Calcutta High Court, for misappropriating public funds (Rs3.3 million) as a lawyer in the early 1980s.

After the judicial probe found him guilty and 189 Rajya Sabha members voted to impeach him in August 2011, he had resigned before the Lok Sabha could initiate the impeachment motion. Only 17 Senators had voted against the impeachment.

He was the first judge in independent India to be impeached in Rajya Sabha for misuse of funds. Justice Sen had retained the money even after being appointed as the High Court judge in 2003. It was in 2006 after a high court order, that he had returned money.

Both judges, Dinakaran and Sen, still continue to get their retirement perks, as no constitutional or statutory provisions restrict their entitlements in such a scenario.

Yet another Indian arbiter, Justice Dinakaran Premkumar, had relinquished charge in July 2011 following allegations of corruption and subsequent impeachment proceedings.

He was the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court. Before the scam had surfaced, he was even considered to be elevated to the Supreme Court.

Thereafter, on a complaint from 76 members of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha chairman had admitted a motion for the removal of Justice Dinakaran.

In Sri Lanka, according to an “Indian Express” report of July 2015, a Supreme Court judge was arrested for allegedly assaulting his domestic help, the first ever case in the nation’s history in which a judge from the highest court was held for any offence.

Judge Sarath de Abrew had surrendered to police following an assault complaint lodged by his domestic help.

He was granted bail after being produced in court, police said. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka had urged fellow judges of the Supreme Court to refuse sitting with him on the bench.

In May 2011, a British High Court judge James Allen’s reputation and career were in ruins, after he was found guilty of battering his wife in a fit of temper over his missed dinner.

Mrs. Allen had described how she punched herself in the head after becoming totally frustrated at her husband wanting to leave the house over a ‘ridiculous’ argument.

Justice Allen, a High Court judge for more than 10 years, said his wife had a history of self-harming and was previously admitted to hospital after cutting her wrists.

Another former Crown Court judge David Selwood, who had admitted a string of child abuse images offences, was given a 12 month rehabilitation order. He was charged after police had found 75 images of naked and semi-naked boys aged between eight and 14 on his laptop computer.

Yet another British arbiter, Richard Hoffman, was cautioned by police for alleged gross indecency. He was arrested with another man in public toilets.

Judge Hoffman was also reprimanded and warned by the Lord Chancellor that any repetition would be likely to lead to his dismissal.

A British circuit judge at the Swansea Crown Court, Justice Price, was investigated after he had let his male escort Christopher Williams sit on the bench and have access to three courts as ‘a law student.’ The judge was accused of exposing his office to possible blackmail threats and bringing the court into disrepute.

A British Chief Circuit judge, Justice Victor Hall, was given a serious warning from the Lord Chancellor after the £91,000 a year Judge was caught driving in a drunken state.

The local magistrates had fined the judge £1,000 and disqualified him from driving.

He was jeered at by people outside the court as he left, and is said to have offered to retire, but was suspended on full pay instead.

Justice Richard Green was jailed for three years after it was known that while he was a solicitor, he took £85,000 from clients’ investment funds.

The thefts committed were on elderly people around 80 to 90. The judge had spent the hoodwinked money on cars, luxury holidays and a yacht.

Justice Viscount of Kent had landed into trouble when he collided into two cars. When interviewed by the police, the Judge had claimed he had not hit either car. He was fined £500 and given five penalty points on his driving license.

Justice Frank Chapman had found his 40-year legal career collapsing after he was found guilty of passing on some information during the hearing to assist a lawyer in a failing prosecution case. He had quickly made the decision to retire instead of facing the complaints that were lodged against him.

To cite just another example from the many in United Kingdom, a District judge Margaret Short was sacked for being ‘rude and petulant.’

The UK Office for Judicial Complaints had said: “Her removal follows a history of complaints about her misconduct in court, primarily about the way in which she behaved towards solicitors appearing before her, but including a variety of other inappropriate behaviour.”

In United States, two judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, were convicted in 2009 of accepting money from a builder of two private youth centers in Pennsylvania state for the detention of juveniles.

The two judges had agreed to impose harsh adjudications on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of residents in the private youth centers.

The “kids for cash” scandal had unfolded in 2008. The judges were convicted on 48 counts.

Justice Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on August 11, 2011. He is scheduled for release in 2035, when he will be 85 years old.

Justice Conahan was sentenced on September 23, 2011 to 17-and-a half years in federal prison. He is scheduled for release sometime in 2026, when he will be 74 years old.

In November 2015, as the “Associated Press” has reported, a North Carolina Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones was arrested on charges that he had tried to bribe an FBI officer to gather text messages between two phone numbers in what the accused arbiter said was a family matter.

A federal grand jury had returned a three-count indictment, charging Justice Jones with promising and paying a bribe to a public official, promising and paying a gratuity to a public official, and corruptly attempting to influence an official proceeding.

In 1862, a judge West Humphreys was impeached by the US Senate and found guilty, in 1913, Judge Robert Archbald was removed from office after he was found guilty in a bribery case, in 1936, a Florida District Judge Halsted Ritter was terminated from service on similar charges, in 1986, Justice Harry Claiborne was shown the door, in 1989, judges Alcee Hastings and Walter Nixon were removed from service, in July 2009, Justice Samuel Kent was sent packing by the US Senate on culpable charges and in December 2010, Justice Thomas Porteous was found guilty and consequently removed from office.

Here follow a few examples where Army generals were taken to task:

Since the “controversial” Nuremberg Trials, which were held between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946 at the Nuremberg’s Palace of Justice and were presided over by British, Soviet, French and American judges, many powerful men in uniform have till date faced courts on a diverse range of crimes

The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied forces of World War II, to try and punish the 23 prominent members of the political, military and economic leadership of Nazi Germany.

Those tried for crimes against humanity had included Adolf Hitler’s Naval Commander, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, Marshal Hermann Goring, Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command, Alfred Josef Jodl, the then Interpol President, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and head of the German Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Wilhelm Keitel etc.

It goes without saying that since then, many of the world’s army chiefs, a good number of whom had gone on to become the presidents and prime ministers of their respective countries by snatching power through coups etc, were handcuffed only after their respective retirements from military service – hence speaking volumes for the prowess that military bosses continue to enjoy in most parts of the planet.

In April 2015, David Petraeus, a former CIA director and the highest-profile general from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to two years’ probation for providing classified information to a woman with whom he was having an affair.

General Petraeus was also fined $100,000, more than double the amount the Justice Department had requested.

In August 2015, a retired 4-star American General, William Livsey, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a food delivery man for a local Chinese restaurant, and resisting arrest. He had served his country in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In June 2015, General Karenzi Karake, director general of Rwanda’s national intelligence and security service was arrested in London in relation to alleged war crimes against civilians.

In 2008, a Spanish judge had indicted General Karake for war crimes in the years after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He is accused of ordering massacres while head of Rwanda’s military intelligence between 1994 and 1997, and ordering the killing of three Spanish nationals working for an NGO.

In 2011, a former Bosnian military dictator, General Ratko Mladic, was arrested in Serbia and extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

In January 2012, a former Turkish Army Chief, General Ilker Basbug, was arrested over an alleged bid to topple the Islamist government.

“The Telegraph” had quoted the arrested General’s lawyer: “The 26th chief of staff of the Turkish republic has unfortunately been placed in preventive detention for setting up and leading a terrorist group and of attempting to overthrow the government.”

According to an August 2013 report of the BBC, hundreds of military officers have been arrested in Turkey over the last five years in connection with alleged coup plots. Dozens have been given long prison sentences.

These convicted Turkish military officers were held guilty of launching the 2003 “Operation Sledgehammer,” which was an alleged conspiracy against the “Justice and Development Party” headed by the country’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In 2003, Erdogan was Turkey’s Prime Minister.

Here follows a list of some top Turkish Armed Forces officials arrested for planning a coup against Erdogan’s elected regime:

Turkish General and deputy chief of the general staff operations department, General Hassan Igsiz, was sentenced to life in August 2013.

Yet another former First Turkish Army commander, General Dogan, was arrested in July 2010 and in September 2012, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail for plotting a coup.

Admiral Ornek, who was Turkey’s navy chief between 2003 and 2005, was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for hatching a conspiracy against a civilian rule.

General Veli Kucuk of Turkey was arrested in July 2008 and sentenced to life in August 2013.

General Sener Eruygur, head of the Turkish General Command, was sentenced to life in prison in August 2013.

General Halil Ibrahim Firtina, Turkish Air Force commander from 2003 to 2005, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in September 2012.

General Aytac Yalman, Turkish Land forces commander from 2002 to 04, was arrested in 2010.

General Nusret Tasdelen, head of Turkish Army’s Educational Command, was sentenced to life in August 2013.

General Ismail Pekin, a former General Staff Intelligence Chief, was arrested in August 2011 and sentenced to seven years.

Similarly, four former Argentinean Army chiefs (General Roberto Viola, General Leopoldo Galtieri, General Rafael Jorge Videla and General Cristino Nicolaides) and a Navy commander-in-chief, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera, were also made to face the music, after they were convicted for their criminal role during the “Dirty War,” which was a period of state-sponsored violence, torture and assassinations in this South American nation between the 1970s and 1983.

Around 30,000 Argentineans were either killed during the “Dirty War” or had disappeared mysteriously.

Lt. General (R) Hussain Muhammad Ershad, the Bangladeshi Army chief-turned-president, was convicted in the Janata Tower Case. Though he was arrested in 1990, he was convicted 11 years after his first arrest. He was released in January 1997, after publicly apologizing in 2009 for all his wrongdoings.

General Sarath Fonseka, former Sri Lankan Army chief was arrested on February 8, 2010 and court-martialed for committing military offences. He had played an instrumental role in ending the 26-year long Sri Lankan civil war in 2009 by defeating the militant Tamil Tigers.

After he was found guilty in a Court Martial, Fonseka was stripped of all his military ranks on August 14, 2010 on orders of President Rajapaksa.

General Manuel Noriega, Panama’s military ruler between 1983 and 1989, was removed from power and detained as a prisoner of war by the invading US Army. After being flown to the United States, Noriega was tried on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering in April 1992. On September 16, 1992, General Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison (later reduced to 30 years).

Noriega’s US prison sentence had ended in September 2007, following the outcome of extradition requests by both Panama and France, for convictions in absentia on charges of murder and money laundering. France was granted its extradition request in April 2010 and Noriega was found guilty by a French court. He was sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2010.

In October 2008, former Yugoslavian Army chief Momcilo Perisic was tried at a United Nations tribunal at The Hague (Holland) for the war crimes committed by him during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. He was also charged with aiding and abetting the planning, the crimes of extermination, murder and persecutions in Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed in 1995.

On September 6, 2011, Perisic was sentenced to 27 years. However, on February 28, 2013, the Appeal Chamber had acquitted him of all charges.

A former Bosnian Army chief, Rasim Delic, was sentenced to three-year imprisonment in 2009 on murder, rape and torture charges at a UN War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Rasim Delic was the commander of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina from June 1993 to September 2000. In May 2009, Rasim Delic was granted a provisional release pending the hearing of his appeal. He died in April 2010 after just one hearing of the appeal.

A few years ago, Spain had asked South Africa to extradite Faustin Nyamwasa, a former Rwandan army chief, who was wanted on charges of genocide in his country and the murder of four Spaniards in Rwanda in the 1990s. Nyamwasa was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which 0.8 million people were killed.

In June 2010, a Swiss court had convicted Abba Abacha, the son of defamed Nigerian military dictator, General Sani Abacha.

General Abacha is famous in history for having stashed millions of dollars in Swiss banks.

Abacha was awarded a two-year imprisonment for running a criminal organization in the country.

According to the court verdict, General Abacha’s son also was personally responsible for the opening of at least 20 bank accounts under assumed names.

French Premier, General Philippe Petain, was sentenced to death at the age of nearly 90 for treason due to his anti-state activities during World War II. His death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by General Charles de Gaulle, the then French president.

Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, a Greek military dictator, was tried for high treason, mutiny and torture in 1974. In August 1975, he and several others were found guilty and were sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life imprisonment though.

World rulers arrested and convicted in corruption and money-laundering etc:

Numerous globally-famous rulers like Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert, Nigeria’s dictator Sani Abacha, former Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos, Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Taiwan’s Chen Shui-bian, former Ukrainian Premier Pavlo Lazarenko, former Guatemala President Alfonso Portillo, Congo’s former head of state Mobutu Sese Seko and Indonesia’s ex-President Suharto etc have been convicted in crimes including money-laundering and corruption etc during the past few decades.

The above-named presidents, premiers and military dictators were found guilty of corruption and for hiding or disguising the financial trail of the dirty money in their possession.

Top Pakistani politicians also faced conviction in money laundering cases, but they had all managed to seek relief from courts and rule the country after they were charged of this serious crime.

In March 2014, Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert was convicted in a bribery case and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. In 2015, his jail term was reduced by the Supreme Court to 18 months. He had begun serving a 19-months sentence on February 16, 2016.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko was sentenced to 97 months in prison with a fine of $9 million for his role in laundering $30 million of extortion proceeds.

(Reference: The November 19, 2009 post of the American FBI on its website)

An amount of $22,851,000 was also forfeited from the Ukrainian ruler. After a trial that lasted 10 weeks and a half, Lazarenko was convicted in the United States by a jury on June 3, 2004, on 29 counts of money laundering, wire fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen property.

By apprehending all the above-named rulers in money-laundering cases, the world authorities have basically sent a message that no one is immune from criminal charges.

Just over a month ago, as the “Chicago Tribune” revealed in its February 23, 2015 edition, the daughter of the Rev Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of President Barack Obama, was sent to jail by a federal judge who had revoked her bond in a money laundering case.

The woman Jeri Wright was convicted last March of 11 corruption counts, including money laundering and lying to a grand jury, in a case tied to a state grant. Her father, a lightning rod in Obama’s 2008 campaign, was not involved in the case.

In May 2014, the son of president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Obiang, was also charged with money laundering.

In 2008, former Israeli Finance Minister, Avraham Hirschson, was sentenced to five years in prison for theft and money laundering.

In February 2014, as the Associated Press had reported, a Paris court had convicted the spokesman for former French President Jacques Chirac’s party in a money-laundering scandal about 10 years ago.

Ruling elite charged in sexual scandals:

History tells that an uncountable number of high-ranking personalities including presidents, premiers, politicians, ministers, sportsmen and showbiz celebrities have often been found guilty of having ‘spicy relationships.’

As a result, many of these highly placed people were convicted, arrested, fined and ousted for their lucrative positions.

A widely quoted book “A people and a nation: a history of the United States,” has mentioned that former American President John F. Kennedy had numerous extra-marital affairs, including one with a 19-year old girl. Various other writers have claimed that the late Kennedy was involved in a deep relationship with Marilyn Monroe, the leading US actress of her time.

Kennedy did not live much but one of his successors, Bill Clinton, was found guilty of having an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

It was the investigation in this case that had eventually led to the impeachment of Clinton on December 19, 1998 by the US House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial that had started on January 7, 1999.

After his trial, Clinton said he was “profoundly sorry” for the burden his behavior imposed on Congress and the American people.

A woman, Paul Jones also alleged Clinton of sexual harassment. According to “The Washington Post,” As governor of Arkansas, former president Bill Clinton allegedly “propositioned [Paula Jones] and exposed himself to her in a Little Rock hotel room.”

Clinton never admitted to the sexual-harassment charges when the Paula Jones case was resurrected in the public eye during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Clinton’s wife Hillary was subjected to a smear campaign ahead of the 2008 US Presidential campaign. As “The Times” of UK had reported on November 22, 2007,” The anonymous e-mails and letters began dropping into inboxes and through front doors this summer. One claimed that Hillary Clinton was having a lesbian affair with Huma Abedin, her beautiful aide.”

In his article “Snarls, smears and innuendo for Hillary Clinton as attack dogs get ready for the fray,” writer Tom Reid had mentioned the “the foulest swamp of electoral dirty tricks in America.”

A US writer Edward Klein had earlier written a controversial book “The truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President” about the Secretary of State’s private life, terming her a lesbian.

Reviewing the contents of this book, “The New York Times” had written on July 31, 2005 that the writer had relied too much on nasty personal comments about Senator Clinton provided by anonymous sources.

In his article “The Truth About Hillary’: Many a Dubious Revelation,” The New York Times writer Joe Queenan had further written:” What I am saying is that if Klein purposely set out to write the sleaziest, most derivative, most despicable political biography ever, he has failed both himself and his readers miserably.”

On March 22, 2011 an Israeli court had awarded a seven-year sentence to the country’s former President, Moshe Katsav, on rape charges.

According to Al-Jazeera TV, the judges had also handed the former Israeli leader a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a fine.

President Katsav was convicted in December 2010 of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice, following a four-year scandal that had rattled Israel.

The maximum sentence for rape in Israel is 16 years behind bars.

Apart from accusations of corruption etc, the sitting Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi, is also confronted with a host of sex scandals, which also led to his divorce in 2009. In 2009, Berlusconi was accused of having an illicit relationship with a girl called Noemi Letizia, though he had denied it vehemently.

The Italian Press, including the famous newspapers “la Republica” and “Avvenire” had also printed a lot of truth and gossip about the Premier’s friendship with a woman named Palazzo Grazioli, his ‘paid associations’ with a retired actress Patrizia D’Addario and a Bulgarian actress Michelle Bonev.

And then came the teenage Moroccan belly dancer and alleged prostitute, Karima El Mahroug alias Ruby Rubacuori, who claimed in November 2010 to have been given $10,000 by Berlusconi at ‘nude parties’ at his private villas.

According to a BBC report, although Berlusconi’s trial had begun on April 6 this year, it was adjourned till May 31 because neither the Italian Premier nor the alleged underage prostitute, Karima, was in court.

The BBC said, “Berlusconi faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty. Over the weeks and months ahead, 20,000 pages of evidence will be presented and about 40 women will be called as witnesses.”

On June 16, 1998 the former Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega appeared in court to claim parliamentary immunity against sex abuse charges brought by his stepdaughter.

The BBC reported: “Mr Ortega, who was accompanied by his wife Rosario Murillo, said the accusations were a plot to undermine him. He presented documents to the judge showing his membership of the National Assembly and his immunity from prosecution. His stepdaughter, 30-year-old Zoilamerica Narvaez, said Mr Oretega repeatedly abused her from the age of 11.”

Former Zimbabwean President Canaan Banana was also arrested on charges of sodomy, following allegations made during the murder trial of his former bodyguard. Banana was found guilty of 11 charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in 1998. He denied all charges, terming them “pathological lies.”

President Banana was sentenced in January 1999 to 10 years in jail, but he actually served six months in an open prison before being released in January 2001.

Former US Vice President Al Gore was accused by a US media outlet “The National Enquirer” on its website that he had ‘unwanted’ sexual contact with a massage technician in October 2006. Though Gore’s attorneys had denied the allegations, police detectives did sniff around a lot for evidence after the massage practitioner’s lawyer had reported to Portland police that the former US Vice President had sexually assaulted her in his hotel room.

Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, was sentenced to nine years for sodomy in 2000. In 2004, the Federal Court reversed his conviction and he was released due to contradictions in the prosecution’s case. In July 2008, he was again alleged of sodomising one of his male aides.

A four-time US Senator Bob Packwood had allegedly harassed 29 women. According to CBS News, the US Senate was able to prove 17 of the 29 incidents and Packwood had to resign.

On April 7, 2010, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had fired one of his aides amid a sex scandal. According to the CNN, “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had fired his chief of staff despite an inquiry into a sex scandal that cleared the second-in-command of wrongdoing. Rafiq Husseini was accused of using the power of his office to extract sex from a female job seeker.

The scandal had erupted in February (2010) after a video was made public allegedly showing Husseini undressing in a bedroom and calling for a woman to join him in bed. The president fired Husseini at the recommendation of a committee that Abbas created to look into the allegations.”

In April 2009, US President Obama’s half brother, Samson Obama, was stopped from entering UK after lying to police over sex allegations.

“The Daily Mail,” in its April 12, 2009 edition had stated,” The half-brother of President Barack Obama was refused an entry visa to Britain after lying to police officers about an accusation of sexual assault. The deception occurred in November when Samson Obama, who lives in Kenya, was in Britain staying with his mother, who lives in Berkshire.

He was questioned by police about the alleged assault, which he denied but during the investigation he used a false name and he later received a police caution. When he applied for another visa, hoping to visit Britain last week, he was refused.”

The news was embarrassing to the US President, who had given his younger half-brother a personal tour of the White House in January 2009, when he had attended the historic inauguration.

The Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, was under probe by the Swedish police since August 2010 for his alleged involvement in two sexual encounters.

Assange appealed a February 2011 decision by English courts to extradite him to Sweden for questioning in relation to a sexual assault investigation.

A two-day British High Court hearing is scheduled to start on July 12; and till then he remains on bail.

In 2006, famous US comedian and actor Bill Cosby was reported to have settled a lawsuit with a woman alleging he had sexually assaulted her. The woman claimed that Cosby assaulted her at house in early 2004 after giving her some blue pills, which rendered her semiconscious, and that the comedian molested her.

Late singer Michael Jackson was first accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. His passion for having sex with children resurfaced in 2003, for which he was tried and later acquitted.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor-turned-Governor of California, also faced allegations of having sex with a woman at a gymnasium.

A 2001 article in “Premiere” magazine described many instances in which Schwarzenegger had fondled a female interviewer.

Boxing Champion Mike Tyson was convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman. He served three years of his six-year sentence.

Sex scams have also disgraced over a dozen Indian politicians. In 2009, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari had to quit for his immorality.

In 2009 again, a Smajawadi party leader Azam Khan was alleged by top actress Jaya Prada of distributing her fake nude pictures. Jaya was contesting polls at that time and had emerged victorious.

In 2008, Manmohan Samal, Minister for Revenue in Orissa, had to relinquish charge after he was found guilty in a similar scandal.

In 2005, Sanjay Joshi of the Bharatia Janata Party was caught ‘red handed’ while he was in the middle of a merry-making act.

In 2003, Amarmani Tripathi, then cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh, was jailed for murdering his girl friend, Madhumita Shukla.

In 2003, Harak Singh Rawat, a former revenue minister of Uttarakhand state, was found guilty.

In 1997, PK Kunjalikutty, a Kerala politician and in 1998, JB Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa, were reported for their alleged involvement in similar cases.

In 1978, Suresh Ram, the son of the then Indian Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram, was also found involved in an act of adultery.

According to the website of the prestigious “Forbes” magazine, Prince Victor Emmanuel, son of Italy’s last king, was arrested in 2006 for his involvement in a crime ring that recruited prostitutes for a casino in Switzerland.

According to the “Forbes” magazine:” Political sex shenanigans as tabloid fodder date back to at least 1963, when Britain’s Secretary of State for War John Profumo attempted to cover up his affair with a showgirl, who had also been cavorting with a Soviet intelligence officer.

The incident caused outrage in the UK and put a serious dent in the government of Prime Minister Harold MacMillan.”

Forbes adds that Willie Knuckles, a senior Liberian minister and chief of staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, had to resign in 2007 after a national newspaper had published a nude photo of him.

Forbes also cited the example of an Indonesian politician Yahya Zaini, who had resigned in 2006 after a video clip of him frolicking nude with his country’s pop singer Maria Eva was circulated on the Internet.

The eminent US magazine further had further stated that in August 2007, China’s Finance Minister Jin Renqing, was reportedly ousted for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal.

In 2006, European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen’s nude photographs with his chief of staff, Petra Erler, were published by a German magazine.

Innumerable US Senators like Barney Frank, James McGreevey, Jesse Jackson, Gary Condit, Eliot Spitzer, Jay Reynolds, Gerry Eastman Studds, Frederick Richmond, Neil Goldschmidt, Neil Goldschmidt, Joseph Waggonner and Jerry Springer etc have also been fined, convicted and thrown out in similar incidents.

Global journalists held accountable for wrongdoings:

A few years ago, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had tried to unmask the beneficiaries of the Ministry of Information’s secret fund, but the matter was somehow hushed up.

In countries like India, China and United Kingdom, ugly faces in media have never been treated as sacred cows and the long arm of law has often clutched them in case of any felony.

This research piece might pinch many of this correspondent’s friends and foes in the profession due to its timing, but fact has it that recently in April 2016, a US federal judge had sentenced journalist Matthew Keys to two years in prison after he was convicted last year of three counts of conspiracy and criminal hacking.

In March 2016, a journalist was sentenced to five years in a Saudi Arabian prison for “insulting the rulers of the country” and “ridiculing Islamic religious figures,” British newspaper “The Independent” had reported.

Alaa Brinji was convicted by Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism court for tweets he had posted in support of Saudi Arabian women’s right to drive cars, human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience.

Not so long ago in November 2012, two senior journalists at an esteemed Indian television channel “Zee News” were arrested on charges of extortion.

The BBC online edition of November 27, 2012 had stated: “Sudhir Chaudhary, head of news, and Samir Ahluwalia, head of business at the channel, are accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from the Indian business firm Jindal Group. They are alleged to have sought cash in exchange for not running reports on a coal scam linked to the firm. Both the journalists and the channel have vehemently denied the charges. Zee News called the arrests “a crude and direct attack on the freedom of the press”.

The BBC had further written: “They have threatened to launch a defamation case against Naveen Jindal – managing director of the Jindal Group and a politician with the governing Congress Party – who, along with his officials, made the complaint. The two journalists are accused of asking Jindal officials for about $18m (£11m) in exchange for suppressing news reports about the firm’s alleged links to a high-profile corruption scandal involving the allocation of coal mining concessions. The officials say they secretly filmed the meetings, and released the footage last month.”

In 2007, the jail term of a Chinese journalist Meng Huaihu was extended by a local court to 12 years from the previous seven-year sentence.

He was accused of bribery and of extorting money from private companies using the threat of negative news reports.

Meng Huaihu was the former Bureau Chief for the “China Commercial Times,” a Beijing-based business paper published by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

The court had ruled that since the journalists were actually performing a public duty, therefore, Bureau Chief Meng was guilty of the common executive offense of bribery, a far more serious crime than extortion.

Journalist Meng was quietly removed from his position in 2005 after allegedly trying to force an advertising contract from China Petroleum and Chemical Company by threatening to write a negative news report.

In May 2009, another Beijing reporter was facing up to seven years jail after he had allegedly accepted money from two whistleblowers with a tip off on airport construction quality.

Fu Hua, a former “China Business News” reporter, had been charged with accepting 30,000 yuan ($4,400) from two employees of Changchun Longjiapu Airport in 2005.

The alleged bribers– Zhang Guangtao, then deputy director of airport construction and Li Shen, Zhang’s subordinate,-had offered money to reporter Fu to expose “problems” on their projects.

Speaking to the prestigious “China Daily,” journalist Fu said he had only accepted 15,000 yuan and insisted the money was not a bribe. Fu said he did not know why he had been charged with accepting a 30,000 yuan bribe.

He alleged police had tortured him until he said he accepted 40,000 yuan – a confession he later withdrew.

And now look at the other side of the coin.

Not long ago, some top-ranking employees of the “News of the World,” once the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, were sent behind the bars in the United Kingdom.

The newspaper was consequently closed down.

“The News of the World” was the same newspaper that had alleged three Pakistani cricketers (Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir) in August 2010 of spot-fixing during Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England.

Before its closure on July 7, 2011 this 1843 newspaper had gained a lot of notoriety for its cheque-book journalism.

It was often discovered attempting to buy stories about private affairs of key politicians, celebrities and high-profile criminals.

In 2006, this newspaper was accused of illegally gaining access to hundreds of mobile phone voicemail accounts across England. It had hired private investigators for this purpose.

In April 2011, attorneys for the victims alleged that as many as 7,000 people had their phones hacked by the News of the World.

One hacked voicemail account had belonged to Milly Dowler, then missing, but later found to have been murdered.

The paper’s editor, Andy Coulson, had resigned two weeks earlier but was arrested on July 8, 2011.

The publication’s former executive editor Neil Wallis was handcuffed on July 15, 2011 and another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, held in custody on July 17, 2011.

The paper’s royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, was also jailed for four months and so were other reporters like Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.

Even the paper’s owner and an eminent global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch was accused of pressurizing the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to hush up the probe in his “Phone-hacking scandal.”

The News