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Donald Trump in court. Former leaders heard charges or sentences in 78 countries – Axios

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Former leaders have been charged or imprisoned in at least 78 countries since 2000, according to an analysis by Axios. Such situations took place all over the world, especially in democratic countries, e.g. in France, Italy, Israel and South Korea.

Axios presented its analysis on March 31 in response to information about impeachment of Donald Trump. The former US president commented that “the US is now a third world country”.

However, as Axios enumerates, accusations against former leaders are brought all over the world, including countries that are efficiently functioning democracies and are among the most economically developed. In total, since 2000, 78 countries have recorded at least one case where a former leader was imprisoned or prosecuted. Reaching even further, it turned out that since 1980 such situations have occurred in a total of every second country in the world.

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Former court leaders

The authors of the analysis took into account the cases of politicians being convicted or charged after leaving important offices. Thus, cases such as impeachment or coup were not included. It also does not include cases where the only charges were brought by international courts, or cases where charges were brought against leaders who left office before 2000.

This resulted in a list of 78 countries where former leaders faced charges or court sentences, including: United StatesBrazil, ArgentinaPeru, France, PortugalItaly, UkraineRomania, Bulgaria, Iceland, Pakistan, Taiwan and the Philippines. The region where the largest number of former leaders have been imprisoned or prosecuted over the past two decades is South America. For example, in Peru, every president who was in office between 1985 and 2018, with the exception of one, has been detained or prosecuted.

Accusing and prosecuting former leaders is therefore characteristic primarily of democratic countries. “For obvious reasons, the countries that appear least often on our map are monarchies or dictatorships, where the leaders hold power for a long time and are untouchable,” the authors of the study said.

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High-profile leadership trials

The Axios portal also listed some particularly high-profile cases where investigations were underway against former top people in the state. In the vast majority of cases, the allegations were related to corruption and related to the politician’s activity during his term of office.

One of them is ongoing the trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over allegations of corruption and embezzlement. The ongoing trial of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was also recalled. In 2021, he was found guilty of illegal campaign financing before the presidential election and sentenced to one year in prison, having previously been wrongfully sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, for corruption and abuse of political influence.

They were also convicted of corruption. the presidents of democratic South Korea – Park Geun-hye, or Taiwan – Chen Shui-bian. Particularly many trials of former leaders also took place in South American countries. One of the most famous was the case Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who was imprisoned in 2018 over corruption allegationswhere he spent 580 days. Another high-profile case is the six-year sentence of the current vice-president and former president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for corruption related to public works tenders. However, she did not go to prison, because she is protected by immunity.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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