Police, politicians and judges most corrupt: watchdog

BERLIN, Dec 6, 2007 (AFP) – One in every four people has been asked to pay a bribe to the police, and political parties and parliaments are the most tainted by corruption, a Transparency International study released on Thursday shows. The poor are targeted for bribes in both developed and developing countries, according to the watchdog’s Global Corruption Barometer 2007.

The study “has made it clear that too often, people must part with their hard-earned money to pay for services that should be free,” said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle.

“And they do not see enough commitment when they look to their governments and leaders.”

The study found that the countries with the highest level of petty bribery, with 30 percent of respondents reporting paying bribes, were Albania, Cambodia, Cameroon, Macedonia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania and Senegal.

By region, Africa experiences the most demands for bribes, the study found.

The poor are hit hardest by petty bribery as they are more likely than those from a high-income bracket to pay bribes when seeking services.

And, Transparency said, that rule held true regardless of whether respondents were from richer or poorer countries.