Gordon Brown calls for new International Anti-Corruption Court to punish Putin

Gordon Brown calls for new International Anti-Corruption Court to punish Putin

Gordon Brown
Credit: Unknown photographer - The National Archives, OGL 3

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has called for the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court to make “provision for the extraterritorial punishment of corrupt leaders of countries such as Russia”.

Writing in The Times today, Mr Brown said Vladimir Putin should be brought to justice for his “looting of Russia’s resources” in addition to his crimes of aggression.

He says: “Putin acts without fear of consequences because historically he has not faced them. His control over the police and prosecutors including the courts prevents Russian law from being enforced.

“But until now he has also been able to act with impunity because in the world’s financial centres including London bankers, accountants, lawyers, estate agents and PR advisers, who, knowing perfectly well they are covering up crimes, have been willing to use every loophole in domestic and international law to offer his cabal safe havens.”

The new court would “intervene where domestic law has not or cannot act against misappropriation of a country’s wealth, and to punish, deter and diminish corruption whenever a nation fails to enforce their own criminal laws against corrupt leaders”.

Mr Brown writes that proof that Russia is a kleptocracy was revealed in the Panama and Pandora papers and that it is believed that rich Russians in Mr Putin’s inner circle have moved at least half of their wealth out the country through “companies registered in the Channel Islands, British Virgin Islands or other UK dependent territories”.

He concludes: “In our divided fractured protectionist world an IACC may be seen as an unrealisable dream and some may call it a fool’s errand, but in recent years, against the odds, pioneering leaders have made what was dismissed as impossible possible — repairing the ozone layer in the 1980s, creating a joint US-Russian international space station in the 1990s, writing off African debt after 2000, and banning land mines and negotiating the Paris climate change treaty in the first two decades of this still-young century — and, despite the rise of nationalism, protectionism and great power competition, we have been able to create an International Criminal Court to punish war criminals.”

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