The summer is always a time when I neglect my blog; too many other things going on and there is sunshine out there! But this morning, while eating my breakfast, I listened to a wonderful programme on BBC Radio 4. (How lucky we are to have the BBC, even though huge criticism has been hurled at them in recent times).
The programme was about Eva Joly, an investigative judge living and working in France. Here is a quote from the blurb about the programme:
Episode 4 of 4
Duration: 28 minutes
First broadcast: Tuesday 19 August 2014
Helena Kennedy talks to the internationally renowned investigative judge Eva Joly who has devoted much of her life to fighting corruption in the upper echelons of French business and political life – relentlessly investigating and prosecuting people whom she believes consider themselves above the law.
The Norwegian-born judge talks about her seven year long investigation into a multi-billion euro fraud involving the state-owned Elf oil company. Thirty people were eventually convicted and senior members of former President Francois Mitterand’s government implicated after Eva Joly revealed that company directors had siphoned off billions of francs to pay for bribes and luxurious lifestyles.
She tells Helena Kennedy about how she received death threats and was placed under 24 hour police protection, placing intolerable pressure on her family – eventually resulting in the break-up of her marriage.
The pressures of the investigation only re-enforced her determination to continue with the case, and bring the guilty to justice. She believes the conviction sent out a sign that power and wealth does not bring impunity from the law.
More recently she has switched careers and entered politics, becoming an MEP for the Green Party….but the fight against corruption, not just in France but throughout the world, remains her driving cause. She believes the crimes she has uncovered are merely the tip of an iceberg.
Producer: Matt Willis
An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.
You can listen to the programme soon on BBC Radio 4 iPlayer.
What struck me about this woman was her tenacity and bravery. She stated on air what so many of us know: that the reins of power are no longer are in the hands of politicians but are firmly gripped by big business. Her energy and committment to fight corruption is amazing. If ever there was a Nobel Prize candidate, it is Eva Joly.
No longer can any one of us bypass what is happening in the way these big and powerful businesses are dominating the world and the corruption that is out there. All of us are responsible and culpable if we do not speak up in some way, however limited we feel we are. The days of hiding behind one’s own small life are gone.
Read about this amazing woman here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Joly