The report highlighted that “politicization, poor salaries, and lack of motivation and training of public servants provided fertile ground for corruption.”
“The public viewed corruption as endemic in the government and elsewhere in the public sector at both local and national levels,” the report also found. “Most citizen reports of corruption to the Agency for Prevention of Corruption involved public administration, private sector, and the judiciary.”
In 2016 alone, the Office of the Special State Prosecutor for Organized Crime and Corruption “worked to recover almost 30 million euros ($33 million) in assets” from convictions of a “series of high-profile public corruption and organized crime cases.”
The report called out impunity among security forces: “NGOs cited corruption, lack of transparency, and the ruling political parties’ influence over prosecutors and officials of the Ministry of Interior as obstacles to greater effectiveness.”
“There was also a widespread view that personal connections influenced the enforcement of laws”, the report said.
It noted human rights observers’ concerns over the minimal level of prosecution for human rights abuses by those in security forces.
Additionally, it reported that the Special Antiterrorist Unit (SAJ) garnered criticism by human rights groups for “not pursuing more cases of violations, most notably the beating of the president of the Professional Boxing Association…during a protest by the opposition coalition Democratic Front in October 2015.”
“Systematic weakness” and “political influence” of the judiciary
The report identified the “politicized process” of appointing prosecutors and judges, and “NGOs, international organizations, and legal experts asserted that political pressure and corruption influenced prosecutors and judges.”
It pointed out that “inadequate funding and a lack of resources and organization continued to hamper the effectiveness of the courts.”
“Systematic weaknesses, such as political influence and prolonged procedures, diminished public confidence in the efficiency and impartiality of the judiciary”, the report stated.
Regarding civil procedures of human rights violations, it noted “perceptions that the system was subject to nepotism, corruption, and political influence led to widespread public distrust.”