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Australia corruption in focus as Gladys Berejiklian inquiry opens

Former NSW premier denies wrongdoing while country slips in global 'clean' ranks

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces her resignation in Sydney on Oct. 1. She is now the subject of an inquiry into alleged corruption, though she denies any wrongdoing.   © AAP Image via Reuters

SYDNEY -- An Australian corruption commission on Monday launched an inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian, the popular former premier of New South Wales who resigned on Oct. 1, regarding a case that is electrifying public debate over murky government dealings at the state and federal level.

Experts say corruption in Australia is largely political rather than criminal -- designed to advance political interests versus steal funds. Although this phenomenon is hardly unique to Australia, there is real concern about slipping standards, a worry supported by the country's recent fall in international "cleanliness" rankings.

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