06Apr 2017

Judicial documents seen by OSI reveal that Belgian investigators asked for assistance from South African authorities in a criminal inquiry against Omega Diamonds and Sylvain Goldberg. In October 2008, during the search and seizure operation at Omega’s offices in Antwerp, Belgian authorities discovered documents related to a South African company. A magistrate in Antwerp submitted… Continue reading

04Apr 2017
Diamondgate, criminal transaction, Belgium, Antwerp, AWDC, traders, diamonds, Anvers, Axel Haelterman, Raf Verstraeten, tax evasion, parliamentary, commission

OSI offered ample evidence that the law voted on 14 April 2011 in the Belgian Parliament amending the Code of Criminal procedure by allowing prosecuted individuals and companies to enter into transactions with the Public Prosecutor to terminate the public prosecution of offences – the so-called “extended criminal transaction” – was in fact drafted and… Continue reading

28Mar 2017

„I made a commitment to the Zimbabwean minister of Mines to help lift the European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and I worked extremely hard to keep these promises”. As strange as it may seem, it was not a government official or a politician who made that statement. It was Antwerp World Diamond… Continue reading

21Mar 2017
Antwerp, diamond, Axel Haelterman, Servais Verherstraeten, Open Flemish Liberals, Democrats, Code of Criminal Procedure, diamond club, Patokh Chodiev

The 2011 extension of the scope of criminal transaction was not the first bill meant to resolve Antwerp diamond industry’s legal issues. It was not the first draft law created by the diamond lobby, written by AWDC’s lawyers, introduced by Servais Verherstraeten, and endorsed by the informal group of Belgian MPs serving the interests of… Continue reading

12Mar 2017
Kazakhgate, Patokh Chodiev, Nicolas Sarkozy, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Eurocoper, EADS, Société Générale, France, Bruxelles

Kazakhgate is the name of a widespread story in the Belgian media, according to which a change in the Belgian Code of Criminal Procedure happened because of some negotiations between the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his counterpart in Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. More specifically, Nazarbayev agreed to buy some 40 helicopters from France only… Continue reading

03Mar 2017
Antwerp World Diamond Centre , Servais Verherstraeten, Axel Haelterman, Raf Verstraeten, Catherine Degoul, Patokh Chodiev, diamonds, Kazakhgate

On 14 April 2011, the Belgian Parliament voted a law that amended the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to the law, it became possible as from 16 May 2011 to enter into transactions with the Public Prosecutor to terminate the public prosecution of offences at all the stages of a criminal procedure. The project of… Continue reading