Report: Corruption suspected in Mideast defense

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Associated Press

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 10:06 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — An international monitoring group warns that excessive secrecy in Mideast security agencies leaves them open to corruption.

The Britain-based Transparency International says the secrecy and lack of civilian oversight in defense ministries and armed forces in the Middle East and North Africa expose them to corrupt practices.

Countries in transition, such as Egypt, Libya and Yemen, lack any accountability, the group said in a report on the Mideast and North Africa region. It was released in Beirut on Wednesday.

In Syria, for example, the group notes that defense policy was under tight control of the ruling family even before the civil war there.

Of the 19 countries surveyed, only a few disclose their defense budgets, the group said. None of the countries makes public the size of its military.

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