Don’t Politicise Airbus Scandal — Martin Amidu Cautions NPP, Others

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The Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Amidu has urged political parties particularly the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to put an end to the overly politicisation of the Airbus bribery scandal.

The ruling NPP has launched a scathing attack at the opposition NDC accusing former President John Dramani of being complicit in the bribery scandal which occurred between 2009 and 2015. Although no name was mentioned, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) alleged that former President John Mahama was the “elected Government Official 1″ named in US and UK court documents.

A statement issued and signed by him, stated that the appropriate offices have been contacted to assist the office of the SP to properly investigate the scandal.

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor appeals to the public not to speculate or politicise the disclosures made in the deferred prosecution agreements and judgment so as to allow this office to treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes and nothing more, pending the conclusion of the investigation”.

President Akufo-Addo has referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor after court documents from the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) surfaced alleging wrongdoing by Airbus SE in a series of business deals in countries including Ghana.

According to Mr Amidu, the Office of the SP commenced investigation on 4th February, 2020.

Per the statement, the SP “has determined that the said referral and the deferred prosecution agreements and judgments accompanying them raise reasonable suspicion of the commission of corruption and corruption-related offences of bribery of public officers and the use of public office by public officers for private profit, which are offences falling within the mandate of this Office under the Officer of the Special Prosecutor, Act, 2017 (Act 959)”.

The bribery scandal cited Ghana, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Taiwan as destinations where Airbus, the largest aerospace multinational in Europe, admitted that it paid bribes in some of the countries in order to secure contracts.

The Crown Court at Southwark in the United Kingdom passed judgment on 31st January 2020, between the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, in which the European multinational aerospace corporation was fined.

The London High Court found Airbus guilty and imposed a fine of three billion pounds (£3bn) as penalties.

Airbus was charged with five counts of failing to prevent bribery, having used a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries to land high-value contracts.

In the case of Ghana, the operations were reported to have taken place between 2009 and 2015, during which period John Dramani Mahama served as Vice President and then later as President.

—with additional files from Ghanaian Times

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