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International implications of corruption in Eastern European prosecution offices: a field report

Fabian Maximilian Johannes Teichmann (Teichmann International AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Chiara Wittmann (Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 8 March 2022

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023

108

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the effect of corruption in the Eastern European legal system as it implicates German-speaking jurisdictions in cases of international cooperation, especially pertaining to white-collar crimes and mutual legal assistance. This field report considers how during the course of the career of a prosecutor, corruption comes into play and creates a culture which prevents the execution of justice in the native country and in collaboration with the European Union. The invocation of compulsory measures in criminal case proceedings is examined carefully.

Design/methodology/approach

The first author is an internationally active lawyer and provides an insight referring to the personal experience of Eastern European prosecutors and the wider impression he has gained of the system in which they operate. This is enforced by his teaching at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna, where he trains public prosecutors from Eastern Europe and through this collaboration, learns of their experience in the system. The impressions gained from real life are supported by an extensive understanding of the literature, often showing that a key problem is the lack of open discussion on the matter.

Findings

German-speaking countries cannot make international proceedings dependent on the findings from Eastern European prosecutor offices. Although there are highly qualified prosecutors at work, there is a systemic corruption evident which threatens the reliability of investigative results. Corruption is evident from the inception of a prosecutor’s career to the most senior positions, showing that bribes account for an adverse selection of prosecutors.

Originality/value

This is a report based on first-hand sources. It elucidates the existing literature with testimony of the current culture and its tangible influence. The implications for international proceedings are paralleled with the history of possible corruption in a prosecutor’s career, the juxtaposition of which depicts a striking reality. Above all, the cyclical nature of corruption in the legal system is highlighted.

Keywords

Citation

Teichmann, F.M.J. and Wittmann, C. (2023), "International implications of corruption in Eastern European prosecution offices: a field report", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 512-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-01-2022-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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