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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Anti-corruption conference opens
US dollars being counted
Campaigners are meeting in South Korea for a biennial conference aimed at pushing forward the fight against corruption.

The meeting combines the 11th session of the biennial International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) and the Global Forum III, which attracts politicians, officials and academic experts in the field.

Transparency International (TI), the international lobby group responsible for the meeting, will publish its annual report on corruption around the world at the meeting.

The conference is expected to conclude with the unveiling of a set of Seoul Recommendations designed to be a benchmark for the fight against corruption.

On the front line

But TI is also using the get-together to honour five people - two posthumously - it sees as exemplars in fighting corruption.

The five winners of its Integrity Award include Dr Dora Akunyili, who heads Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and has waged a determined fight against counterfeit drugs and doctored food.

Also on the list is Samoa's former chief auditor and controller, Sua Rimoni Ah Chong, who identified 6 of 13 cabinet ministers as corrupt in 1994 and was then sacked by a committee including several of the ministers he had named.

Indian campaigner Anna Hazare (also known as Kisan Babu Rao) is on the list too, after 20 years of pushing for accountability in his home state of Maharashtra and causing the downfall on corruption charges of two government ministers.

Gone but not forgotten

The other two winners were killed while fighting corruption.

One, Antonio Siba Siba Macuacua, was a Mozambican banker who was trying to clean up a mammoth banking scandal when he was thrown down the stairs of the bank's headquarters.

His death has been linked to that of leading investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso, whose killers were convicted last year and whose trial implicated the son of Mozambique's president.

The other is Algerian journalist Abelhai Beliardouh, who was kidnapped and tortured while investigating corruption in cross-border trade and later took his own life as a result.

"In recognising Beliardouh and Macuacua," TI said, "TI hopes to send a strong message to the international community of the need to support those who, under the threat of violence and intimidation, continue to show integrity in their efforts to uncover injustice and corruption."

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