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Ghana’s Office of the Special Prosecutor to Investigate Airbus Bribery Scandal

President Akufo-Addo has referred the Airbus bribery scandal to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for immediate investigations.

A letter signed by Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin stated that these investigations are expected to be conducted in collaboration with the United Kingdom authorities.

The reports which emerged after the company admitted in a UK court that it paid bribes to officials in some five countries including Ghana between 2009 and 2015 have sparked rumours in Ghana.

Some Ghanaians have challenged NDC which was in charge of the governance of the country during the period to respond to the claims.

In a statement, the former minister of Justice Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong said the media has misrepresented the facts as happened in the court.

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports about a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) entered between Airbus SE and the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office in respect of the practice of Airbus SE in paying commission to its agents and the use of those commissions. The reports alleging that Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama are false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgment.

“Indeed, the Approved Judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark approving the DPA between Airbus and the UK Serious Fraud Office does not allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian Government official,” the statement said.

It added: “It is therefore a gross distortion for the media to conclude that officials of the Ghana Government between 2009 and 2015 were bribed or paid any commissions by Airbus for the acquisition of the Casa C-295 aircrafts”.

Below is the full statement from the Presidency

INQUIRY INTO BRIBERY OF GHANAIAN OFFICIALS IN MILITARY AIRCRAFT DEAL

The attention of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been drawn to a 31st January 2020 judgement of the Crown Court at Southwark, in the United Kingdom, between the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, in which the European multinational aerospace corporation has been fined $3.9 billion for the payment of bribes to secure deals in five countries, including Ghana.

According to the Statement of Facts in the case, between 2009 and 2015, “a number of Airbus employees made or promised success based commission payments of approximately ES million to Intermediary 5”, who is said to be “a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghanaian Government official (Government Official 1)”.

Significantly, “Government Official 1 was a key decision-maker in respect of Government of Ghana aircraft orders”.

The payments to Intermediary 5 by officials of Airbus SE were, thus, “intended to induce or reward improper favour by Government Official 1” over the purchase of three (3) C-295 military transport aircraft.

Indeed, out of the ES million promised Intermediary 5, E3.85 million was paid between March 2012 and February 2014.

President Akufo-Addo has taken notice of the judgement and its implications and has referred it to the Office of Special Prosecutor to collaborate with its UK counterparts to conduct a prompt inquiry to determine the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present, involved in the said scandal, and to take the necessary legal action against any such official, as required by Ghanaian law.

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