This video is an excerpt from the event which took place at the Heritage Foundation on December 13, 2013, under the title "The Unfinished Work of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Advancing the Rule of Law" with Hon. Edwin Meese III, 75th Attorney General of the United States; Hon. Becky Norton Dunlop, Vice President, The Heritage Foundation; Judge Henry Saad; Joel Anand Samy, co-founder, International Leaders Summit and Natasha Srdoc, co-founder, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy.
As we approach 2014, the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, Natasha Srdoc talks about the status of post-communist Eastern Europe and specifically the Balkan region.
Research reveals that the legacies of communism, the region's parlous judicial systems, economic problems, and the lack of freedoms continue to oppress some 54 million citizens in the Balkans. Recent statistics show that over 50% of the youth are unemployed in much of the region, rampant corruption and organized crime are on the increase, and the Balkan economies hemorrhaged $111.6 billion in illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion from 2001-2010. Additionally, the Balkan Route of illicit trade, originating from Afghanistan/Pakistan via Southeastern Europe, brings $20 billion annually into European Union member states through heroin smuggling alone which serves to finance terrorist networks. Human and organ trafficking and arms smuggling are a growing concern, also.
Roger Helmer, Member of the European Parliament representing the United Kingdom, asked written questions of the European Commission regarding money laundry via Hypo Alpe Adria Group and Prince Michael von Liechtenstein's involvement:
LIECHTENSTEIN Further reading on LGT Bank - Liechtenstein - money laundry and the report from the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report: http://www.levin.senate.gov/imo/media...
Further reading on the Council of Europe's report citing concerns of obstruction of justice in Liechtenstein and weak rule of law - Report on Liechtenstein - GRECO - Council of Europe: Publication: OCTOBER 31, 2013 http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/... Liechtenstein report highlights:
10. GRECO recommended to review the powers of the Prince, as enshrined in article 12 of the Constitution and other pieces of legislation, to block or discontinue criminal investigations and proceedings. 16. GRECO recommended to ensure that the selection of judges, including temporary ad hoc judges, is effected in an impartial manner. 27. GRECO recommended to ensure that adequate access to information and evidence is granted for the investigation of the various corruption-related offences. 53. GRECO recommended to develop ethical rules and codes of conduct for public administrations at central and local level and to provide adequate training on the use of these rules, including the conduct to be adopted vis-a-vis the offering of gifts and other gratuities. 81. Although the fight against corruption in Liechtenstein - in particular in the context of dealing with financial crime and money laundering - appears to be a priority of the Government, the reform process has been fairly slow and only limited progress has been achieved in order to comply with the recommendations issued by GRECO to Liechtenstein.
Council of Europe publishes first report ever on fighting corruption in Liechtenstein Strasbourg, OCTOBER 31, 2012 http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/... "...the Prince retains in principle the power to block and terminate any investigation or prosecution. It is suggested to also keep under review the appointment process concerning judges."