RICS fines Sweett Group for Middle East bribery offence
The surveyors’ professional body RICS has fined Sweett Group £125,000 in relation Sweett's failure to prevent an act of bribery on a 2013 contract in the Middle East. A RICS disciplinary panel found that the firm “did not at all times act with integrity and/or avoid any actions or situations that were inconsistent with its professional obligations."
Sweett had already been ordered to pay a £2.3million fine in relation to the same offence in February, following a successful SFO prosecution. Sweett is now considering whether to appeal the RICS panel's decision.
Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi impeached following corruption controversy
On 25 August 2016, the Iraqi Parliament voted to impeach Khaled al-Obeidi, one of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's closest allies. The vote came after Obeidi and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi accused each other of corruption, with Obeidi pointing the finger at Juburi and several other senior Iraqi political figures.
Obeidi had claimed that the allegations against him were false, and that they were made in response to his refusal to engage in corrupt defence deals. Following his impeachment, he stated "I tried to fight corruption in every way, but it appears that its lords are stronger and their voices louder."
Obeidi's impeachment has not come at the best time for Iraq, as its armed forces are fighting to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.