This is an interesting article from the Guardian today related to blowback from the Panama Papers debacle. Most of these discoveries mentioned are the “good things” that have resulted since the criminal stealing and leaking of information from the law offices of “Mossack & Fonseca” in Panama.
It is “good” that Sharif in Pakistan is revealed as corrupt by sheltering millions in properties through Panama offshore entities. He and his family should be judged harshly…by the laws of their own country and peoples. Wealthy families that stole and registered valuable art or other assets under Panamanian corporations should be punished. David Cameron, Aaron Banks, Vladimir Putin…all politicos who are accused of using their positions to steal or hide assets illegally should stand trial under the harshest interpretations of laws…in their own countries. Panama has no legal jurisdiction over these situations. The source of the crime or funds was not performed in Panama.
Panama cannot be held accountable for crimes committed in a foreign country. No country accepts that kind of liability even though there are legal processes for turning over criminal foreigners or ill-gotten gains. If anything, the Panama government should be defending its institutions (banks) and lawyers from these international accusations of collusion. Instead, politicos such as Panama’s President Verela seem to always side with foreign politicos over their own local constituents. A very sad reality. You cannot justify or exonerate those who stole data from Mossack & Fonseca or “journalists” who sold and touted that information for profit. The end does not justify the means.
As we have written in the booklet “The Truth about the Panama Papers”, lawyers for those who have committed illegal acts or stolen properties are not themselves responsible for their client’s crimes. Throughout most of the western world, even criminals have the right to legal counsel and “attorney-client” privilege. Where crime is discovered LEGALLY, we agree with prosecuting to the fullest extent of local laws where the crimes were committed. Where we divert from current general trends is to blame any country or law firms for the actions of their visitors or clients. This is a ridiculous extension of culpability.
Finally, we continue to point the finger back at the UK and USA from where much of the scrutiny and blame on Panama and the law firm are coming from. What has happened in Panama regarding offshore positioning of foreigners is PEANUTS compared to what goes on in those much larger countries and banks. We think the Panama Papers issue is being used as a huge smokescreen for the lack of scrutiny over source funding for many world leaders and their cronies within their own borders and banks. In comparison, the “Panama Papers” is like the needle in a haystack. The biggest corruption is usually in the home countries of the perpetrators. It has nothing to do with Panama.
These and many other issues are being addressed in “The Truth about the Panama Papers”.