Home News From Europe to Middle East: List of former leaders jailed for corruption

From Europe to Middle East: List of former leaders jailed for corruption


From Europe To Middle East: List Of Former Leaders Jailed For Corruption


A host of former country leaders have served time behind bars for corruption committed while they were in power, with South Korea’s ex-president being the latest to be jailed Friday.

Some have been able to avoid prison through appeals and others are on trial, such as South Africa’s past president Jacob Zuma who appeared in court on Friday facing 16 counts of graft from before his presidency.

With Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ordered to start a 12-year sentence for corruption Friday, here is a recap of ex-leaders jailed for graft over the past 10 years.



Croatia: Ivo Sanader 

Prime minister from 2003 to 2009, he was arrested in late 2010 on charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Sanader served time in 2011 and again in 2012-2015, when he was released after a court overturned a nine-year sentence and ordered a retrial. Other trials are due.


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.

After a long investigation, he was formally charged in October 2017 on 31 charges of bribery and other crimes, including money-laundering, tax fraud and falsification of documents.


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.

He was freed early in March 2013 but jailed again in 2014 for several months for accepting bribes.


Serbia and Montenegro: Svetozar Marovic

President from 2003 to 2006, Marovic was handed a 46-month term in 2016 for corruption after allegations of involvement in suspicious land purchases and construction deals.

He was the only president of the short-lived country, which broke up in 2006 when Montenegro proclaimed independence.


Moldova: Vlad Filat

Ex-prime minister Filat (2009-2013) was dramatically arrested in parliament in 2015 over allegations of accepting bribes worth some $260 million, which he denied.

He was sentenced to nine years in jail for corruption and abuse of office.

South America

Guatemala: Alfonso Portillo

President from 2000 to 2004, he was detained 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 2015 after serving just over a year in a US jail in consideration of the time already served while fighting extradition and on trial.


Guatemala: Otto Perez

Perez became president in 2012 but was forced to resign in 2015 and then detained over allegations of organising a fraud ring which netted him $800,000 in bribes.

In October 2017 he was ordered to stand trial for racketeering, illicit enrichment and fraud.


Peru: Alberto Fujimori

President from 1990 to 2000, Fujimori entered jail in 2009 after being sentenced to 25 years for rights abuses, including ordering massacres.

In 2015 he was sentenced to another eight years on charges of embezzling state funds.

He was pardoned in December 2017 but in February 2018 a court ordered a trial for a new case involving killings.


Peru: Ollanta Humala

President from 2011 to 2016, Humala entered prison in July 2017 on a sentence of 18 months of pre-trial detention.

This followed charges of accepting illegal campaign donations worth $3 million from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Middle East


Israel: Ehud Olmert 

The 2006-2009 prime minister entered jail in February 2016 with a 27-month prison term for taking bribes, fraud, corruption and obstructing justice.

Olmert was freed in July 2017 on parole.


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