The whole world woke up this week to the biggest story of the Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert who was jailed for 19-month over bribery and obstruction of justice, becoming the first Israeli premier to be imprisoned and capping a years-long legal saga that forced him to resign in 2009 during the last serious round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Ehud Olmert is however not the only world president who bagged jail term for for corruption and other offenses, here is a list of past dubious leaders who betrayed their people and nations by stealing from them and committing other inhumane crimes against their own people. Regratably, no African leader has been able to be brought to book like these bigwigs and past presidents whereas corruption dominates and has eaten deep into the African land like a cankerworm. National Enquirer's Blessing Okeke looks at these world leaders who have been tried and convicted.
Israel: Moshe Katzav – The former Israeli president was sentenced to seven years in prison and incarcerated in December 2011. He was convicted of the rape of two aides while he was tourism minister in the 1990s, and of sexual harassment, attempting to intimidate witnesses and obstruction of justice. Katzav, who was president from 2000 until he was forced to resign in 2007, has repeatedly protested his innocence.
Portugal: Jose Socrates – The former Socialist prime minister (2005-2011) spent more than nine months in temporary detention before being placed under house arrest in September 2015, a measure that was lifted on October 16, 2015. He was arrested on November 21, 2014 and charged with corruption, money laundering and tax fraud. He continues to proclaim his innocence.
Croatia: Ivo Sanadar – Sanadar, a conservative, served as prime minister from 2003 until his resignation in 2009. He was convicted of corruption in November 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The charges stem from kickbacks he was said to have received from the Hungarian energy company MOL. In March 2014 he was convicted and sentenced to nine years in a separate trial over the alleged embezzlement of 10 million euros ($112 million) in public funds. But in November 2015, the Croatian supreme court overturned that conviction and ordered a retrial and his release on bail.
Romania: Adrian Nastase – A Social Democrat prime minister from 2000 to 2004, Nastase was sentenced to four and a half years for corruption in 2012, a milestone in the fight against graft in Romania. He tried to commit suicide after receiving a two-year prison term in a separate case relating to the improper use of 1.5 million euros of campaign funds. He was set free in March 2013, but jailed again in 2014 for accepting bribes worth a total of 630,000 euros in Chinese building materials and furnishings from a construction boss. Nastase was granted probation in August 2014.
Peru: Alberto Fujimori – Fujimori, who served as president of Peru from 1990 to 2000, is still behind bars at the age of 77 after being convicted of multiple counts of corruption and human rights abuses. In 2009, he was sentenced to 25 years after being found guilty of ordering massacres in 1991-92 that killed 25 people, including an infant. The killings occurred during the state’s brutal suppression of an uprising by Maoist guerillas of the Shining Path movement. He has also been convicted of bribery and embezzlement.
Guatemala: Alfonso Portillo – Portillo, a conservative who served as president from 2000 to 2004, was detained in Guatemala in 2010 and extradited to the United States where he was sentenced to five years and 10 months for money-laundering. He returned to Guatemala in February 2015 after serving a little over a year in a minimum-security US jail, in consideration of the time he had already spent behind bars while fighting extradition and on trial.
Guatemala: Otto Perez – Perez, a conservative who resigned as president last September, is in custody awaiting trial over allegations that he organised a vast fraud ring which netted him $800,000 in bribes. He was arrested the day after his resignation.