THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA, PRESS & COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION

www.president.mn

2015-08-14




SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA, AT THE COMMEMORATIVE MEETING, DEDICATED TO THE 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF PROSECUTORS’ OFFICE IN MONGOLIA



FIGHTING AGAINST CORRUPTION IS HARD, BUT INEVITABLE

Ulaanbaatar
August 14, 2015

I convey my heartfelt greetings and congratulations to you, distinguished prosecutors, the guardians of the Law of the Mongolian State, on this historic anniversary date, and wish all the best to you. (Applause)

Today we are celebrating the anniversary of the establishment of modern prosecutors’ service in Mongolia. I believe that ever since the establishment of the Mongolian State, there have always been such wise and learned men to watch, monitor, consult and advise the State on the laws and rules enacted by the State. Therefore, you are carrying on this distinguished duty, a duty peer with the Mongolian State and the Mongolian statehood. And I note, you must always be proud of your noble duty.

Here in this venue, are present not only the prosecutors, but also the spouses and representatives of the co-workers of the prosecutors in their offices throughout Mongolia – from city to provincial offices. I wish to emphasize that the Mongolian State has always valued and appreciated the work of the generations of Mongolian prosecutors and officers who have, with honor, diligence and unwavering commitment carried out the most difficult special service entrusted by the Mongolian State.

Most importantly, we have with us today the people representing generations of Mongolian prosecutors, our seniors. We also have the incumbent prosecutors in their active service. And the youngest ones who have just joined the rows of prosecutors are with us today. Students who are eager to work for this country to harness justice, to create the good for this country are in this hall as well. Once again, I convey my heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all these people on this historic anniversary. (Applause)

And today, we are observing another anniversary. That is, in 2010 the National Security Council adopted the Program to Deepen the Judicial Reforms. And there is a reason why I have come in person to attend this commemorative meeting. These days we are celebrating many different anniversaries. Celebrating different anniversaries in different parts of the country. I do not attend all of them. Yet, I decided to be present at this commemorative event.

Prosecutors, judges and lawyers were the ones who rendered the greatest support in developing and adopting the Judicial Reform Program, who most sincerely embraced its ideals and spirit. I do understand, at times our reputation is not good, some say we are being unjust; that we make wrong decisions. You are the ones who have pleaded to make the laws you abide by right, who pleaded for reforms, for analyses and review, for compliance, compliance with the requirements of the time and of the people. Therefore, I have come today to meet with you to thank, to express my gratitude for your loyalty to your service. (Applause)

Today, at this commemorative meeting, we have heard a lot of words of gratitude, of appreciation and of pride. Therefore, in my speech, I decided to address the difficulties, the challenges you are coping with. Prosecutors’ service is a hard job. You are the ones who pronounce the final verdict on behalf of the Mongolian State “You have violated, offended the Law. Therefore, you are charged…”. Indeed, the job to establish the final verdict is not a job any man or woman can do. This has been the duty you and the generations before you have carried out for the Mongolian State. And this is a tough duty. And it is getting even more difficult. Therefore, I do not really want to cozy you up with sweet words at this meeting.

The people who do tough work needs true words. However bitter they are. However tough they are, we must address our difficulties and our challenges. We must recognize in what a difficult environment, under what complex circumstances our lawyers, especially the prosecutors, work.

A corrupt is called “a corrupt” today. You are the ones to pronounce the sentence. You are the ones who tell people that he or she violated the law. You are the ones to place control over the process of establishing that the law was offended. And you are the people who monitor whether the activities of other law and law enforcement organizations are consistent with the law. In that sense, you can be called “the guardians of justice”. You are the eye and ear of the State. You are the ombudsman, the overseers of correct enforcement of the law. Therefore, you are regarded as the key people for rule of law and justice and are the front-line soldiers on this tough duty.

Corruption and abuse of official position is not committed by ordinary people. An ordinary citizen does not participate in such cases. Corruption is not committed by the children of common folks. It is committed by officials. It is committed by those who do not care for the law, who say “the law doesn’t matter”. It is committed by presumptuous and overweening people who audaciously state: “I will not be punished even if I do it. I am powerful, I have a net of connections”. And you are the ones to deal with such ones barehandedly, face to face to tell them the truth that they offended the law, and the ones to charge them so. This is a hard work. And you do it regardless.

A thief offends a single body. Mostly, a thief robs a house, steals from someone. A corrupt robs all, steals away from every single person. A corrupt steals from the country. Steals from the people. A corrupt official steals from the 3 million citizens of Mongolia. Therefore, we say must fight with corruption. Fighting with corruption, finding, charging, punishing the corrupt, and placing control over enforcement of their punishment are, therefore, an extremely important task. Important and a very tough job.

Money is powerful. And corruption money is awfully powerful. Today a common citizen, a regular prosecutor is struggling to make ends meet with his or her salary. A common citizen, through hard and honest labor, scratch along just barely to get by; they are bending over backwards. The corrupt gets sacks of money, billions and billions, and to wipe off his dirty prints of his crime, to have them cleaned away, to have such a machinery operating, spends back his money frantically. Therefore, money is powerful. Corruption money is dauntingly powerful. It’s perilous, terrifying.

In this way, corruption crushes and degrades the very essence of the Mongolian State, and derides the worth and value of the path Mongolia is walking. It is indeed hard to deal with such people face to face and speak of the law. All and everything is being bought with corruption money. A political party is bought. A faction is bought. A television channel is bought. A radio station is bought. Websites are bought. An honest man, a man who you trust the most, is bought. An honest attorney is bought. There are honest attorneys and advocates in Mongolia actually. Most reputable attorneys are bought. They spend huge sums for such acts. And here lies the power of corruption money, the dark, mortifying power of corruption money.

And such a system is being built today. People are simply not talking about corruption, corruption crimes and about the nature of corruption. They just say “it’s ugly”. Today people are scared to talk about corruption; are fearful to address it. Yet we must discuss it – what it is, why it is dangerous; we must talk of its inside out, the very anatomy of corruption. Only then will people understand why it happens. We must inform people about corruption, and it is our duty to do it.

Fighting corruption is not an easy job. The corrupt are now inside your home. Through and in your TV screens, spending hundreds of millions of tugrugs for producing wonderful plays with the main plot about how very good a person he himself is. What you feel when, after having tirelessly worked to catch and punish an unabashed corrupt, your child exclaims: “Look, dad/mom, the man who you claimed to be corrupt and punished is, in fact, such a good man!” This is how these criminals wash the brains of the common people. They laugh at how naïve, oblivious, forgetful, compassionate the Mongolians are. Those corrupt have their own MPs, through which they have started making and enacting laws. They have their representatives, own parties, factions and other organizations.

At the beginning of my speech I said that a common citizen doesn’t commit a corruption crime. When you locate and approach a corrupt individual, he would have his television aides beside on guard. Is this a common folk? Is there a common citizen with his own television channel, own political party? Is there a common citizen under the patronage of a member of the Parliament? And that “common folk” would attempt to materialize his unlawful intentions through these accomplices? Would there be such a “common folk”? Therefore, we must see these contrasts. Therefore, we must treat the crimes of corruption and abuse of official powers distinctively from other law offences.

In the past, there were few, less than a handful whom we knew as corrupt. Alas today, we are talking of groups of corrupt. Of corrupt groupings. Those few in the past were occasional ones, whereas now, those corrupt have grown many capable of even making a law. They have grown many to make and establish the Mongolian State policies; to coerce and blackmail the Mongolian State. They are becoming the ones to decide whether to dismiss the government, which ministers to sack, whom to fire and whom to hire; what projects to block and which ones to advance, and how long to stall progress. Is this ever acceptable? Can we yield to this degeneracy? Should we retreat, kneel in front of all this vice?

And I am hated for saying, pronouncing such words. You are detested for having disclosed this unlawfulness. They know you by names and are biding their time to settle accounts with you some day. You can’t even imagine what they do to me!

They have a full army of hundreds and hundreds of draftees whom they pay generously. They have tens of false registries, pages, fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and are trying to shape social policies, social atmosphere and sentiments. And therefore, they are dangerous.

They are condemning and blaspheming you through the society, through your own children. They are manipulating our youth and our children, who are too young to tell things apart, to blame you and what you do. We must fight with corruption, and we will. It has become dangerous to say:”Hey you, the corrupt, stop it. Stop bribing and receiving bribes. Give up and step down”. It is unsafe to pronounce these words.

The corrupt will work to make you bow in front of themselves. The Mongolian State has entrusted you one special power – you must make the corrupt bow in front of you. It is your duty not to bow, but to have the corrupt kneel in front of you. You have the law to charge, to fight, and to prosecute. And you are given such a power by the Constitution, by the law of Mongolia. Therefore, you must be loyal and faithful to this duty, right, power, responsibility of yours.

Do not aid and serve those with money, but help and serve for the poor, for the powerless – is my most important message to you. Also, please see to and look for room for mercy, pardon, acquitting; for situations and scenarios for the lightest punishment for the ones who offended the law by negligence, naivety, inexperience; for the ones who have no money, no jobs, but not the ones who abuse power, who hold high positions. Let and make people understand why they offended the law, what they did wrong, what they overlooked or ignored. We do have the Mediation Law in place now, just enforce this law. There are thousands of people who offended the law by this very reason – lack of knowledge, experience. Yet on the other hand, there are many who knowingly abuse the law. Make a list of them and hunt them down.

Do not take away the last tugrug for a loaf of bread from the children of the poors, those few people who are working to the bone trying to create wealth in this country. Do not bully, do not persecute them. Be soft with them. But show your iron face to those who do really insult the law and disparage justice.

I do say and warn the corrupt: “Mongolia’s interests and benefits are above yours. You must not act this way, you must stop”. The gravest feature of corruption is that it expropriates the Mongolian State. The State/the government must be the government of the people, elected by the people for the people. Our people are electing the officials for their own government, convinced that they are forming their own government. Alas, that people’s government is being seized and stolen by the corrupt just like being plundered by a gang of armed robbers.

The membership in the State Great Khural [the Mongolian Parliament] is numbered - only some 76. In the Parliament, they are divided by parties, factions, divided into the ones with and without money. And the corrupt prey on them and “present” their dreadful wishes.

Why is corruption lethal to any country than any other external enemy? If Mongolia is attacked by an external enemy, our people will unite and defend the country. This was true at all times in our history, and we will do the same if needs arise. And that is in case Mongolia is attacked by an external aggression.

Look, then, what happens with corruption. It divides the country internally, by parties, into haves and have-nots, into members and non-members, into rulers and ruled and ravages and devastates the State. In that way, it weakens the Mongolian State and disheartens or attempts to dishearten the faithful public servants.

There are many honest ones among the Members of the State Great Khural. There are members who work hard and serve the best interests of the Mongolian people. These honest public officials are under pressure by those corrupt; are bombarded with various messages. The Prime Minister is pressurized: “Appoint the Minister I tell you to appoint, otherwise, later on, I will not support you”. Do you expect those appointed ministers to do their ministers’ jobs? They are charged to serve only two goals:

First, “once you become the minister, do as I say. Bring me [bribe] money” – is what the corrupt order their appointees.

Second, “do not let others do what they intend to do”, they dictate. Is this ever conceivable? Can there be such a public servant? Never ever, and period. We must change this.

Twenty five years ago, when we were fighting in the cold winter streets we marched for the right to be able to elect the ones to serve for our government, to define our country’s policies. Twenty five years ago we rallied for the freedom to participate in the election, compete and choose our best minds to serve the government for the people.

The Law on Pardon that Parliament has just adopted was made “in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the First Democratic Elections in Mongolia, of the 25th Anniversary of Establishment of the First Democratic Parliament in Mongolia”. Twenty five years ago, it was most important for us to identify and elect the people with bright, untainted, righteous desires to serve faithfully for the Mongolian State. Although we lost that very first democratic elections, we were happy and hopeful. It didn’t matter to us which party won, who was elected; we were happy because at the end of the day the people won. The Mongolians became able to build our own government at our own self and we cried tears of happiness.

Yet, what is the gravest concern for us today? How to get rid of the corrupt, that sneaked into the government, those in the public service who are there with a sole purpose to abuse and capitalize on public funds. This is the greatest challenge facing the Mongolian government today.

Their parliamentary immunity guarantees impunity; they are elected in the parliament several times, they regard themselves as honestly serving the country and they can shout out loud patriotic rhetoric. Anyone can and may speak such words. But how to get rid of such people who conceal and hide all of their evil behind this charade? A drop of clabber spoils a tin of milk. One scabbed sheep mars the whole flock, says people’s wisdom. How do we get rid of these people who hide in their back that scab, that clabber, a spoonful of poison but recklessly lie to the face of the people and try to define state policies?

I am often despised “He is lying”. But I must speak these words. I am blamed for speaking these words. But I do mean and do abide by what I say. I used to speak these words when fighting in the streets, when serving the Parliament and when leaving the Parliament upon my own request for resignation from membership. And I am speaking these words today again, as a person holding the Seal of the Mongolian State. I remain the same and true in my nature and character. It is my nature and character to fight corruption, to oppose corruption. Don’t get me wrong, it is not my promise; it is my nature. I grew up herding sheep. Half of our sheep herd is lost, the wolves that devoured the half of our flock is in the herd, masked under the sheep skin. What to do? Half of our herd is wolves and are now ready to eat away the remaining sheep. They are about to eat you away. Therefore, we must talk, speak up.

What kind of law has been adopted? What has been discussed about? I have been warning, reminding repeatedly. I do have such a right. On your behalf, if necessary, I shall state it again. I came to the Presidency to bring out, to speak out the hardest, the toughest, the most challenging. I am despised for speaking these words, for calling a corrupt “a corrupt”, for telling the corrupt to stop and leave the office, for encouraging you, for encouraging the front-line fighters against corruption, for supporting and aligning with the lawyers for justice, I am scorned. But I will keep speaking up. I will keep supporting, will stand for and side by side with the guardians of law who are fighting for justice without yielding to money and coercion. (Applause)

Have you ever heard of the corrupt building plants and factories with the bribed funds? They do not plant, they do not build. They weave a web. And here comes a danger. Our wealth creators are breaking their neck to build, create at home in Mongolia to substitute for what we import from abroad. But the corrupt don’t create wealth, they don’t build factories. What they build are parties, factions, they buy the members of Parliament, buy television stations, open fake Facebook accounts, buy registries, twitter accounts, newspapers. They buy the most popular TV programs, pay journalists. If their words are not relayed they block, bar, obstruct. This is a reality. They spend their money to cook this dirt. They spend their money for appointing their minister, for re-electing their “member” and for compensating for their spent money. This is the way they act. That’s why I am calling to end this wickedness.

The corrupt do not, at all, care for the interests and benefits of the Mongolian people. Whether the people are suffering, whether they are employed, whether they are paid enough doesn’t matter for the corrupt at all. The life of the ordinary Mongolians today is indeed hard. There is almost no company with a billion tugrugs in their bank accounts. The life of the ordinary people – those running production, doing trade is getting truly hard. In a total month they cannot earn what they used to make within a day. Those corrupt would say they are for these people. In fact, the corrupt are depriving, robbing them of the jobs, of opportunities. Shielded under their ministers they are stealing the bond funds, the investments. For this very reason they ferociously conspire to appoint their favorite as a minister. This is the type of business they engage in. That’s what I detest.

This is what I hate. If you want to do business, do it, but leave the politics. You cannot be in politics, you cannot be a minister. I tell some people: “You do not qualify for Speaker, President, Prime Minister”. “If you are craving to do something, any business, leave politics, leave your seat in the Parliament, and pursue your desires”. But what they do instead is buying the politicians, setting up their networks, armoring themselves with protectors and protégés. And sadly, the people are forgetful. Therefore, the corrupt hope that they would be supported by the people if they continue their schemed brainwash through mass media.

Today the corrupt are attacking from all angles. It’s hard. But then why are you entrusted with that very duty to enforce law and order in this country? If you were to be ordered to serve the corrupt, why were you told to enforce justice? Why did the Mongolian people elect me to fight for justice? If I were to harbor and propagate the interests of the corrupt, why elect me? Why was I entrusted if then I had to protect the corrupt? Why was I entrusted this position? Was I entrusted to protect the corrupt? I shall never stand by such interests. I shall never bow down in front of the corrupt. I often say: “Well, you can listen to what some say. But run them through a filter, a filter of your sober judgment of what’s right and what’s wrong. But never yield, never bow to the corrupt”.

Fighting against corruption is not an election statement. Fighting corruption is a work to do while in office. It is a job to do when you are in service. It is not something that is achieved by shouting in the streets. Be just when you are prosecutor. Enforce the laws of Mongolia when you are a prosecutor. Do not bully the powerless and bow to the powerful. You are given such a right, given such a trust. That’s why you are called “a guardian of the Mongolian law”, the legal advisor to the State of Mongolia. Behind the word “advisor” is the notion of your being the eye, being the custodian of the law. Do not let evil happen and protect the good, and this is the mission you are delegated with.

These days we see and hear numerous slogans to fight corruption and establish justice, and such statements sprout as elections near. During the election campaign this is an acceptable language. Yet, we must act at the time when we are trusted and entrusted the duty. And we must strictly abide by this principle. Otherwise, you will betray your people. Some members of the Parliament whom I trusted the most, today are speaking, acting for the corrupt and I have no idea what had influenced, caused them to act so. This is a total negligence of the interests of the voters. Fighting corruption is effected not by words, it is done by actions, by the laws that you make, for the very vote this member of Parliament gives, endorsing every word, every sentence in that law. And he/she must demonstrate this commitment. And again, it is really tough to speak of and do this work.

I often say: “There is one single major test for a public servant, for a high-level political official”. If you can fight corruption, if you can stand with head held high in front of the corrupt, their big money, big promises, you pass the test. All the rest is fine, is doable – anyone can divide the people’s hard-won tax money; anyone can speak beautiful words, anyone can spend a day or two on the cozy seat of a minister. Yet the single genuine test is the ability to say: “Take your money away, take your word back and leave my room”. “Obey the law, stop offending the law” – must be the words he or she must be able to say to the face of the corrupt.

The corrupt are capable enough of acting the way you can never even imagine. Lawyers have seen a lot. They shout outside your home, they even insult your 90-year old mother: “You son is going to kill a man. Please save his life, which is measured now in hours and minutes”, for weeks, for months. They come to your mother aided by the demon, and can even take her away. And you must be strong enough to withstand, endure and overcome even such situations. We have seen all of this. And this is tough, hard. They will frighten you with their death, with the hungerstrike they can forge.

As soon as a corrupt official is summoned to justice, they fall back on their main resort – threats to die, to starve to death. Then if you are this sick, if your health is that weak, just stop stealing from your people. This is not the first time I am saying these words. I spoke of this on June 18, 2009, when I swore into office as President. I called for stopping corruption, for stopping to steal from the State from that day on. I stated that all acts of corruption before that day, June 18th 2009, would be pardoned. I initiated and submitted Law on Pardon on the next day, June 19th. I tried to draw a line.

Today some are voicing out loudly”: Let’s pardon those mistaken and let’s move on”. I did that 7 years ago. We learned certain lessons, we encountered difficulties. It was not easy. Even health workers are affected. When I pardoned a person, I pardoned a life, I thought of life. I pardoned believing that a man’s life was being measured by hours and minutes. I pardoned a foreign citizen, thinking for Mongolia’s image. I didn’t pardon 40-50, 200-300, tens or hundreds of officials. I pardoned caring for a life, caring for Mongolia’s good name. I am despised and attacked by the corrupt for my actions. They hire people who write to me day and night. They attack my through media, which I have always regarded the voice of the truth and justice. Yet, I will never give up on my determination against corruption. We must not retreat. If we retreat, who will stay, who will not fall? Behind us is the people of Mongolia, their rights, freedoms and benefits.

We should never surrender in front of injustice. We must navigate ahead, against all storms, to enforce the law in Mongolia. We must do it. When you catch a corrupt, they shout back that they are not, that they didn’t commit any crime, that you, the law enforcers, are lying. They say they are being repressed, discriminated. They say “I ought to be rehabilitated, not pardoned”.

If a corrupt is rehabilitated, from that day on the Mongolian State shall be vanquished. From the very moment on, when the corrupt are hailed, the Mongolian State will be annihilated. We will not let our State fall. This is a State of our ancestors, a State of great history, a State where Justice has always triumphed. We live and work within a short span of time, just for one generation. We must fulfill our duty in our lifetime. When we are in the government, when we are a connecting unit in the golden chain that bonds the State, we must do this work and move ahead.

We say, a man lives under the State. Living under the State means living under the law. In a democratic country, a State means the law. Some grumble, the State has no owner. All presumes that there has to some owner, someone, some corrupt official to own the State, someone that commands a powerful network. The State means the law, means the moral and ethics. We must be only demanding to enforce, to obey that law. This is a State system.

I often say, “If you didn’t receive a bribe, if you didn’t commit a crime, have your issue settled by court”. In 1994, when the law enforcers came after me accusing in a crime, I asked to release me from Parliament: “I, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, request to release me from the Membership in the Parliament of Mongolia. I forgo my full powers of a Member of the Parliament. I summon the court of justice to resolve my case” – read my letter of request for dismissal and on the same day I withdrew from the Parliament. Then the Mongolian court established the truth and rehabilitated me affirming that Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj did not commit a crime. The Mongolian State is the body to state who offended the law and who respected, who committed a crime and who did not. People often say “let’s have the case resolved by court, let’s have the truth established”. So if you are really a honest MP, submit your letter of resignation at your own initiative and forgo your powers and privileges of an MP and stop participating in politics and damaging people’s lives.

The people can forgive mistakes. However, they do not forgive crimes which are committed knowingly. If your duty is law enforcement, but you commit a crime, people will not pardon. If you, knowing that you must not, but steal public money, people will never forget and forgive you this. People can’t stand anything, any action that abandons its values, principles. People do not support those who stampede, crush their trust. The people are saying they will not forgive the corrupt, but the MPs are adamantly pushing for pardon.

I am not against forgiving people, opposite; I am in favor of pardon. I want to pardon those poor and weak who erred and went astray for the first time. While trying to pardon 1000 such people, we just must not let 100 corrupt officials charged and another 100 under trial, another 100 illegal expropriators of public funds, many other embezzlers, swindlers, those engaged in money laundrying and other abusers of law, be pardoned. Otherwise, I do side with pardoning the people who are repentant of their misdeeds, women, mothers, elderly, and children in prison.

My position on the pardon is being warped and twisted heavily these days. They say, thousands in prison are going to be released. This is the propaganda of the corrupt. They would obviously talk this way. The way that the President is opposing the pardon. I am not halting the pardon, I am for pardoning. But I am against the conspiracy, the closed-door day-long session which some members even left, where they so ruthlessly modified a draft submitted by the Cabinet.

We did have a principle. In 2009 we did pass a Pardon Law. The law had both merits and faults. And we pardoned and warned that from that day on no corruption will be forgiven, that it would entail tough sanctions and penalties, and warned not to misuse public funds.

And we set to revise the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedures Law, the Administrative Violation law. After we revise these laws, we planned we would consider the issue of granting pardon to the convicts. And speaking of initiating pardon, let us transfer the right to decide on the timing, the conditions and legal precursor for pardons to the judiciary and the relevant legal authority so that it is not initiated by some body, or the Government. And like in any other country, let the Presidential pardon as prescribed by the Constitution remain under the Head of State. These were the principles we agreed on. We didn’t agree on the dirty methods of conspiracy of the accomplices of the corrupt to produce the very kind of Pardon law as we have today. And we even agreed on the principle that if such a bad draft is submitted, we wouldn’t consider, hear it.

Yet, look at what has happened now: as soon the Government submits its draft law, instantaneously they put the government itself at stake threatening with dismissal, convening the aides and accomplices in hotels and giving orders and directions from afar across the ocean. “Delete that sentence, add such words”, tailoring the draft to their own preferences and circumstances. The Government’s draft states that corruption cases will not be pardoned. The Parliament modified the draft to pardon such crimes. No mercy to the corrupt is a policy. I already stated that the Law on Pardon must be our State policy.

And we must abide by a principle, our concrete central tenet. Distinguishing between what is to be and not to be pardoned is a principle. Although the initial draft excluded corruption crimes from pardon, the course was reversed and with each provision and clause corruption is to be forgiven. Embezzlement was not to be forgiven, it is endorsed in the latest version. Abuse of public funds, contrary to the initial language, is now to be pardoned. The same is true about fraud. When the Government wanted to draw back its draft, the lawmakers twisted its arms.

And behind all of this, an awful trade is going on. They are bargaining with who, of which party, of which faction and grouping is going to be freed, and for whom that release is beneficial in what ways, and how they should plot and coordinate efforts. And it is in human nature to bring out issues of sympathy, compassion, heart-feeling and pain and they do. But can we let this travesty, denigration of justice step over the threshold of the Mongolian State? Bargained, traded pardon. If you don’t let this happen, they terrorize you to make you yourself leave tomorrow.

Mongolia’s reputation, Mongolia is heartlessly snubbed. When provoking all this turmoil in the Mongolian State, they haven’t even for a tiny while thought of what would happen to Mongolia, her image, her integrity. Certain achievements, progress, good efforts are being made in the Mongolian State. Yet, these people who plotted the law tried to make it a “corruption business law” if the businesses do not pay commissions, bribes. You are aware of some small-scale fraud cases. Sometimes, just because of lack of experience, or of naivety, of lack of precautionary mind-set, youth commit crimes. Observers and professionals keep telling me that such cases are excluded, they will not be pardoned. Such cases and offences used to be covered in all previous pardon laws. “The children of the common people, of the poor people are outside of the law” is what I am being told by lawyers and analysts.

You might wonder, the Law on Pardon is apparently ratified some 2-3 days ago. I haven’t received it to date. They must be scared that if the law is passed on to the President, certain clauses and provisions might be vetoed. It is still in the Parliament under the pretext that it is not heard yet in final edition. “The Pardon Law is passed. The veto term of 5 days must be expiring” – ponder people. That’s not true. After the hearing in final edition is done, the law has to go through ratification formalities such as singing, sealing etc and then delivered to my office. The 5-day veto time starts ticking from that moment on, the time when we receive it at the Office of the President of Mongolia. So you may rest calm.

Such an unjust law, a law with such provisions shall not be let over the threshold of the Mongolian State. Such a conspiracy will not be let step over the Mongolian State. This will not be allowed to happen. (Applause)

In such ways, the Mongolian State may not be extorted and coerced. Fighting against corruption is a tough job. Right straight to your face they would claim it is a human right. True, it is a human right to be pardoned. Both a corrupt, a child, an ordinary citizen have this right. “All are equal in front of the law”, they will preach you. “You arrested, you are judging, you are accusing, you are charging”, they will shout to your face. Tough, truly hard situation. But how to draw the line of just judgment?

And when you say “You violated, offended the law. Law must be enforced. The law summons you and comes after you”, they readily call on democracy threatening they would strike and starve themselves to death and would start trying to burn your face in front of the most popular TV cameras and most popular journalists. “I never committed this crime. I am discriminated; I am repressed for my good intentions. The lawyers, the judiciary are this bad and inhumane” – is what they speak of through media. There are thousands of honest, dedicated and faithful to their oath lawyers and law enforcers. You are all denounced and condemned. Your spouses, your children are being attacked and insulted. They will re-emerge in front of you, and will protect themselves.

True, anyone has the right to protect themselves, be that a corrupt official or a child. Any woman, any ordinary citizen, any poor has the right to protect him- or herself. There exists such a right. Yet, today, the corrupt has a better right, a stronger right to protect himself. Because he has money, he commands billions. While his body is detained, his money remains free. And based on that money, a whole web of corruption is weaven to humiliate, to abuse, to insult those who work to enforce justice. The whole Mongolian society is affected and is besieged by the dirt of corruption-fund-fed campaign to praise, defend and speak up for the corrupt, through letters, articles, TV programs. This is what is happening. What to do? Again, I do respect the human right to defend himself, to speak for himself. Anyone has a right to say “I did not commit a crime”. Has a right to say so until it is proven otherwise, until the court establishes otherwise. But watch out, behind that claimant, billions and billions of public funds, the party, the TV and the whole corrupt network are hidden.

That is why freedom is fragile and vulnerable. That is why sometimes democracy seems feeble. That’s why I say democracy needs a daily care. That care is fighting the terror of corruption. It doesn’t mean wiping off the dust on the letter “D” of Democracy. And the distinction between the two is called “a policy”. We often pronounce that word, “a policy”. Under “policy” I mean its chemistry, I dry to dig down to its very essential meaning. Policy establishes the distinction between the right and the wrong, the black and the white. And that policy must be reflected in the Law on Pardon.

What is most loathsome about corruption is that the official, who has and knows his duty to safeguard public funds, steals it. Knowing that he has to defend justice, he steps over it, crushes it. Knowing that if caught, he would be jailed, the official offends the law for he is sure that his protégé groupmates in the Parliament would fight for his release, would initiate a law to secure him freedom. These are the factors that even worsen the case, highlight the gravest character of that crime. And therefore, the charges and penalties must be correspondingly high. And such charges are not pardoned. This is called “a policy”. This is true in any country.

I respect human rights, I stand for human rights. The corrupt take an oath pledging “I shall not violate law, I stand for the interests of the people - for those common interests”, but then violate that oath. There are officials who reach out to the people and tell them: “You are my guidance. You are telling me to be just, and I will be just. You are telling me not to embezzle money, and I will not. You are telling me to fight crime of official misconduct, and I will fight it”. But then they break their word. The corrupt go back on the pledge they have given to the people and their interests. I am dissecting this issue apart to reveal the anatomy of corruption to you. This is what l call ‘taking apart the issue and discussing the issue openly’. Otherwise, fight against corruption will just be empty words.

Today, the corrupt are utterly terrified that I will talk about this issue. Today, they are giving out money here and there. Today, they are sharpening their knives. Today, they are placing orders asking not to broadcast or publish Elbegdorj’s speech, and to infect the computer that transferred the speech with a virus and stop its broadcast. Yes, they are indeed terrified that I will publicly reveal their heinous actions.

The corrupt fear only one thing. They fear that their despicable crimes and actions committed under the disguise of the public good will be exposed. They fear that the anatomy of their corruption will be revealed to the public.

There is no such thing as committing a corruption offence unknowingly. A person who has indeed made a mistake unknowingly can be pardoned. However, a person cannot become corrupt unknowingly. A person cannot commit an offence of official misconduct unknowingly. A person cannot commit an economic or financial offence by accident. You should all understand that. The Mongolian people know that. Mongolian lawyers know that.

What is most dangerous is that today the next generation of corrupt officials is learning from the country’s biggest corrupt. They think to themselves, “Now I see. I must have my own TV channel and newspaper. I must establish a fake political party and enlist a few people as members. I must have them talk on my orders and defend me. I must have them attack every policy implemented by the state. This is how people get out of trouble and evade law.” This is the most dangerous, the worst precedent ever. I cannot be a witness to a precedent like this. They figured out that it is always necessary to get elected to the Parliament. And once you get into the State Great Khural vested with full power and authority, everything will go smoothly. They have even enacted this in the law. According to the law, “a person commits a corruption offence if he or she is caught in the act of a crime (on the spot) with incriminating evidence on his or her person”.

How many corrupt officials have been caught in Mongolia with incriminating evidence on their person? How many of those committing official misconduct are caught with incriminating evidence on their person? Such crimes are committed in the dark. Their commission is delegated to others. They are committed across continents, countries and cliques of people. Today, they shield themselves under that legal provision requiring “being caught in the act of a crime (on the spot)” to qualify as a corruption offence. Unfortunately, people like that and interests like that have proliferated. We cannot let such a bad precedent to advance any further. It will lead to the degradation of the Mongolian state. It is a danger to the Mongolian state. This is why I keep saying that the Mongolian state and the Mongolian people face danger from such internal groups within the country and their unlawful, narrow interests, rather than from an external enemy. This needs to be discussed publicly.

“Let me give you some advice”. A person convicted of crime and found to be a criminal by court has come to Mongolia to give advice to the Mongolian state. He says, “I can give you advice if necessary”. Instead of asking for his advice, the political parties should turn their attention to supporting the younger generation and their innovative ideas. They should focus on supporting the innovative ideas designed to address the issues facing the Mongolian society, politics and state. There are plenty of innovate ideas floating around.

They have adopted the Law on Pardon knowing that it will be vetoed. Today, they are on the offensive using all available means under the disguise of “equal human rights for all”. Today, they are attacking all of you. Our senior law enforcement officers are calling me today in tears saying: “Our years of effort have gone to waste. What should we do?” Today, they are trying to bend us. Today, they are trying to break us. They are trying to put us on the hook. They contend: “We are pardoning a lot of offences; we are pardoning a lot of people. But there are many crimes that we are not pardoning”.

I will repeat what I said multiple times. Pardon is not granted by categories of crime. It is granted on the basis of certain principles. “Being underage” is a principle. “First-time offence” is a principle. The person having committed a small crime is also a principle. Offences that do not fall under pardon are captured by classes of crime. One of such classes is when a person has taken a bribe or committed any other form of official misconduct.

After hearing my speech today and after hearing about the possible veto, they are taking all possible counter-measures. They are closing deals. As you know, the media are silent on some individuals. Let us imagine a plant with 500 staff, 100 of whom work in office. They have given double tasks to the personnel of the plant to write words of approval under every piece of information they post and write words attacking the President. They are also ordering you to do so. They are paying additional wages to those who agree. This is the extent to which they are brain-washing the population by telling them: “Attack our enemies this and other way, attack this particular opponent this way, send out his photoshopped image, disseminate this video” etc. The benefits of information technologies ironically are used this way too, and this is life.

Today, some people are contemplating how to sell themselves. They will decide now in the ranks of which party they should enter the upcoming elections. For their part, the political parties they approach ask them a single question – are you going to accept Elbegdorj’s veto. Do you think that those people have come to you to talk about Mongolia’s development? Do you think that they are going around talking about Mongolia’s prosperity? We must be able to say ‘No’ to their actions. I am more than happy to be under fire for saying such words and for defending the interests of my people. This is just a temporary tide of criticism.

The interests of the Mongolian people are eternal and perpetual. The interests of corrupt officials will end with them. They will end when their money runs out. The interests of the corrupt are measured by the worth of those individuals themselves. The interests of justice are measured by the centuries-long existence of the Mongolian state. We cannot impair this sacred continuity. We must strive to keep it intact. The Mongolian state will remain in perpetuity. This is my belief. Fight for justice will continue. The efforts of those who are advancing the cause of clean politics and the society’s well-being today will remain in perpetuity.

It is difficult to fight corruption. They use it against you that you lack money and that you do not have your own accommodation because your salary falls short and you pay mortgage. This is why I advocated doubling salaries for judges. They are not so many judges in Mongolia. This is why I advocate including a salary increase for prosecutors in this and next year’s budget. (Applause) What if a person charged with enforcing and safeguarding the law is requesting cell phone credit points from the person whom he or she is prosecuting or adjudicating on? What if that official is looking over to some household’s property with envy? What if he or she is embarrassed of the clothes they are wearing or the accommodation they are living in? What if his or her salary is falling short of their basic needs? Can you demand that such a person enforce justice and fight against the groups of people that I have just mentioned? If Mongolia has any financial resources, one must demand justice from judges and prosecutors only after doubling and tripling their salaries and thereby creating conditions where they can lead their lives without looking to others for support. We must both give and demand. Through giving, we also are increasing their accountability. (Applause)

The Mongolian state is not just raising your salary. It is giving you more responsibility and will expect you to work accordingly. If you get involved in an unlawful action, the state will ask you why you are doing this when you are a paid a salary three times as large as other public servants. It will remind you that it pays you a salary. It is the tax-payers and their children who pay you a salary and put petrol in your car. The state will not hesitate to ask you why you are betraying their trust.

I believe that Mongolia has only one hope. And that hope is the people, the public. I can see that many people are saying that the only hope in halting the Law on Pardon is the President’s veto. This might be the case. However, there is one more hope. Politicians are concerned about possible damage to their reputation. If they conduct improperly, we must put them to shame. We must ensure that they are too embarrassed to show their face in public. (Applause)

We must put to shame the politicians who have conspired to adopt the Law on Pardon, voted for it and pushed the button in favor of “pardoning the corrupt”. And this all was done behind the back of the Mongolian people, our children. We must put to shame the lawyers who have written such sentences and words in the text of the law. (Applause) We must put such law-makers to shame. We all live in one society. We must mock them and put them to shame at every step.

They are rather contentious people. This is why, as soon as my speech is over, they will come out and say: “Elbegdorj said this and that. That is wrong. Elbegdorj is this and that”. They will attack me on all sides. But one must be able to tell them that they are wrong and point them to their own faults. The only hope is public contempt. The only hope is public condemnation. The only hope is the fight by the people. The only hope is the people’s unity and solidarity for the sake of justice. (Applause) We must create that. To that end, we must examine the anatomy of corruption publicly.

This is why we must fundamentally change the political party system in Mongolia. This is why I have initiated a specific Law to that end. We must fundamentally change the current state of public service in Mongolia. Public service cannot become loose change at the hands of politicians. Public servants cannot become punching bags for every other politician, including any corrupt or dishonest (underhanded) politician. (Applause) We must protect public service. We must adopt the draft Law on Public Service.

Instead of adopting the Pardon Law today, the Parliament should have convened an extraordinary session to adopt the draft Law on the Political Party and the draft Law on Public Service. I wish to get across one point to the Parliament – adopt without changes the draft Laws on Public Service, on the Political Party and on the Accountability of Elected and Appointed Officials. Approve their text in the submitted version, without any amendments! If you do so, I, as the President who has submitted the said draft Laws, shall bear responsibility for them. I have initiated them and I am submitting them for your approval. I am committed to creating that system. If it does not work properly, you can hold me accountable.

But if the draft is going to be crammed with fraudulent provisions the way the Government’s draft Pardon Law has been treated, that will not work. Just endorse it as it is submitted; just approve endorsing the concept of the Law. I said earlier, 25 years ago, it was our dream to have a Mongolian be elected, competitively, to work for the Mongolian State. We now need to pull back from the State those who sneaked into it and pursue unlawful interests by stealing, rent-seeking and plotting.

There are no politicians in Mongolia brave enough to leave the office as I did 21 years ago. There is not such a Member of Parliament in Mongolia today. Some must leave, but they don’t. Therefore, they must be called back, must be withdrawn, dismissed, that’s why people are collecting signatures. That’s why we need to establish moral accountability, political accountability. That’s why administrative punishment, criminal punishment must be imposed. That’s why if the felony, the crime is revealed, let’s have the General Prosecutor initiate to rescind membership in the Parliament. Let’s just not nominate such people in the elections. That’s why such provisions, such regulations I put in the impeachment Law. If you stand for justice, just endorse that law. Just sign for it if you are not a part of injustice alliance called “justice”.

I have seen party chairmen, leaders, their lawyers come forward and make statements for media. So please do make a statement that this law will be ratified. That will be a good move, an indication that there is still some hope that the Mongolian State will be clean. This is what I wanted to say to you today. We are doing this hard work to be able to speak such words. I believe we have gathered here all today to speak up, to address these very issues.

That’s why there is only one solution that I noted earlier. Simply before you create a danger, before you cause a threat to the Mongolian State, just leave your office. Do not run in the Parliamentary elections again. Make a statement now if you believe you are honest. You are being talked about, you – that grouping, that faction leaders, the authors of the conspiracy, those who block and bar all good efforts in the state. They text people false messages, they take loans and spend half of it for their dirty web, through dirty methods they plot campaigns, TV programs, they attack and assault the justice, they dishearten people. They dishearten Mongolia, and they know well who they are.

Just don’t run in the elections. Do not run a political office. Do not tiptoe around the government house whiffing for evil. Just say you won’t. Do not seek again immunity to impunity. If you are truly suffering, are truly repressed, what are you doing in the Mongolian state, just leave it. That’s it. This is the solution. If not, approve at the Parliament the law that I initiated which lays the road for accountability to put you on the right path. This is it.

Indeed, there are certain people who should never be let even stay close, step over the Mongol State ger threshold, sit inside and define Mongolia’s policies. Yes, there are such ones, whom Mongolia should steer clear of. As a person who is holding the sacred state seal of Mongolia, I do have the right to speak on behalf of my people. We cannot let such a law be put in practice. We must stop it.

I have three key messages to the law enforcers, especially to the Mongolian prosecutors. Not all is well with you too. Law enforcement organizations, the organizations combatting corruption must attend these three key issues.

First, a person is arrested and detained for too many days. Please do abandon your Vyshinsky method of trial. Mongolia has become a country where human rights are honored. Work and use your best skills to establish justice when the person is free, not in a cell. Let arrest and detention be the final acts in the trial process, not first, not the start of it. Please do attend this issue. All the good work you do is being contaminated by this common practice of yours.

Besides, you must make people understand the danger, the evil, the damages of corruption, of the unlawfulness deriding our state today. The organizations fighting with corruption, their officers fail to perform this task successfully. They fail to explain the very anatomy of corruption, how it works, how it eats away progress, what threats and dangers it entails.

Third, stop bullying, terrorizing, pressurizing others by your official position, by the fact that you are a prosecutor, that you are a judge, or an investigator, or by whatever position you have on your office ID card. I have told you to stop such practices and behavior many more times earlier on.

There are prosecutors who are working hard and successfully. There are many professionals who deserve to be called “a prosecutor”, a guardian of justice in uniform. Even if the public is not aware of your ill performance, of your wrongdoings, such actions of yours are recorded and will one day cause immense sufferings to you. Therefore, stop from now on if you performed wrong. Serving the Mongolian state is a virtuous deed. This is a tough job – to be able to do, to speak for your people what they cannot. And do this hard work.

I do understand here is one nuance. If you let the suspect free, they do not sit idle. They employ advocates and attorneys, speak on TV and engage in massive campaign to prove how good they are and how they are being discriminated. They also escape, run away. They conspire and compose word by word what to say in the court, in front of prosecutors and judges. At times you do need to detain them. However, the conditions and cases when detention is required must be clearly indicated in the new law. Indeed, it is tough. But dealing with this tough, solving the difficulties, walking on the edge of a sword is indeed what serving your people, serving your country means. A public service does not reside on presumptions, guesses and mere opinion.

Also, public education and enlightenment cannot be overlooked. People are demanding the anticorruption agency, the law enforcement organizations to reveal the dirt, the danger of corruption, to educate the public to oppose corruption. The government allocates 500 million tugrugs for public education yet the corrupt commands 5 billion. The government spends a billion, the corrupt counteracts with 10 billion. As the law enforcers start public education activities, the corrupt start shouting that the law enforcers are disclosing trial information. I know you are under constant pressure. Those who bully you, frighten you spend billions against you, yet the budget you command is only few million. Yes, there are problems, there difficulties but we must work, succeed, move on. No matter how hard it is, please do your best to accomplish this task and prevail, that’s what I wanted to tell you today. (Applause)

Mongolian lawyers and law enforcers are tearing their hair out to establish justice, to fight down fraud, corruption and unlawfulness. I said earlier, they are going above and beyond for the sake of the good name of the country, to prove that Mongolia does have and obey her laws. Alas, some corrupt come to Mongolia to “take a walk in the fresh air”. They say “I came to Mongolia to take some fresh air”. I think the government house is not the place for “taking fresh air”. No one asked the corrupt to nest in a luxury expensive house abroad and sigh missing the fresh air of homeland.

Then bring along your partners, abettors, accomplices. Bring along those billions of tugrugs and millions of dollars which fled the country through corruption. Bring along your sibling who fled the country as your accomplice and “take a walk in the freshness of air” together. Bring along your aide’s brother, your crime partner. Take a walk all together in the Mongol fresh wind. Why to suffer in a foreign country without wind and fresh air! Enjoy Mongolia’s fresh air! (Applause)

Bring back your partners, the money you withdrew from Mongolia. Bring your corruption feeding money openly, transparently. That’s all. Nothing more is required.

They shout loudly: “I am jailed. I am going to die!” Their lives starts getting measured in seconds as soon as their crimes are revealed, their webs are to be detected. Why shout? Why escape, why run away?

The gravest aftermath of corruption is that the huge corruption web, weaven by the immense corruption funds, is generating another big corruption web acting internationally. The money transacted abroad is half-cut at the bank. The person in whose account the corrupt paid to keep his money disappears ripping off the account balance. Don’t you really think that those corrupt traveling and residing abroad are calmly living there breathing oily air? They are all after their money. With their siblings, assistants and their siblings too, chasing their dirty money. That’s common. But they are scared that their plot will be revealed. (applause)

As we Mongols say, a wolf attacks the flock during the rain, for the opportune moment at a misty haze. Just like that, a corrupt would come to be with the public, say, at an opportune moment for himself – adoption of Pardon Law, or a national wrestling tournament, faking love and passion for the people. If you do miss your people and country, why not reside at home? Why not bring back to your country the money you stole?

We did indeed dream of such times. The law enforcers have been recording success. The success we recorded in law enforcement is the realization of the dream we had, the dream to hold the corrupt accountable. However, the discourse is changing its course. Today some are dreaming to release the corrupt in jail. You see the change? Some favor pardoning the corrupt!

We have had positive changes. They stopped craving for money. We have enacted the Glass Account Law [Budget Transparency Law], the Law on Public Hearing. Some visible, concrete restriction is being placed by the law. By Corruption Perception Index, Mongolia improved her standing moving from the 120th up to 80th. This is a success. It’s not that we are fighting with corruption fruitlessly, that your hard work is being wasted in vain.

If there is no corruption, there is no Anticorruption Law. It’s not that law enforcers are complicating the situation with corruption. Without corruption there is no law against corruption, no agency against corruption. People dreamt to have a body to combat corruption. Today “the corrupt” is not an issue, the issue is with the agency, its issue is an issue now. I indicated earlier where we fail and perform badly. We must enhance and consolidate our success and eliminate our errors and underperformance.

In conclusion, I’d like to emphasize that Mongolia’s interests and benefits are great. They will exist, prevail, flourish forever. The interests and benefits of the corrupt are destined to end with the corrupt. That’s why while we are in office, while we are in service, let’s serve justice. Let’s serve to enforce rule of law in Mongolia.

Mongols cannot stand to live by others will. That’s why we chose democracy, chose freedom. Shall then Mongolians live by the will of the corrupt? Let’s say “no” to those who nurture such wishes. Let’s say to such people to stop, to restrain your such wishes. Should we let the corrupt to define state policies to fit their interests and benefits? Let’s say “No” to such intentions. Let’s live by our own choice under the rule of law. Let’s live under the law and not under the corrupt. (applause). Let’s live by the law.

That’s why in my speech today I spoke of the truth, I spoke of how hard your work is. This is how a true speech reads like. True words are the words that are needed to be spoken at the needed time. And the Mongolian society needs to hear such true words today. Such an encouragement, such hearty words are needed for the honest officers who are fighting against corruption, who are fighting for justice and rule of law.

We must not blemish your good efforts. We must not dishearten you. We must not discourage people. Our bodies are not eternal, but our state, our country is eternal. And I do believe in it. The rights and benefits of the Mongolian people are eternal. And we must serve on this mission with honour and dignity. That’s what I wished to remind you today.

Thank you.