Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
A British court has ordered the government of Zambia to pay the “vulture fund” company Donegal International 15 and a half million dollars. Donegal is owned by the US company Debt Advisory International. But investigative journalist Greg Palast reveals a new development: Democracy Now!’s airing of his BBC expose on Donegal this year has led the Justice Department to open an bribery investigation that could lead to an indictment.
In February, BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast exposed on Democracy Now! how Debt Advisory International was trying to collect $40 million dollars from Zambia after buying one of its debts for $4 million. Zambia claims the company, Debt Advisory International, even tried to bribe government officials by offering to make a donation to: “the president’s favorite charity.” Palast questioned the company’s owner, Michael Francis Sheehan, about the allegation.
Now a British court has ruled on the case. Zambia was ordered to pay Sheehan’s company $15.5 million dollars on its original $4 million dollar debt. The Zambian government says the money will have to come directly from its budget for health and education. BBC Investigative reporter Greg Palast joins me now from a studio in Portland, Oregon.
Read more Debt Relief Groups Attack Vultures After our BBC Exposé, Vulture Fund Threat to Third World, Bush Could Block Debt Collection by ‘Vulture’ Funds
Greg Palast. Investigative journalist. His latest is book is just out in paperback,“Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets & Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.”