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Airbus bribery scandal: Ghana close to discovering ‘Government Official 1’ and allies as Amidu contacts foreign peers

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has begun liaising with its foreign counterparts and other relevant international institutions for assistance in the running of investigations into the Airbus bribery scandal.

The Special Prosecutor is currently on a mission, as directed by the President, 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.”

Preliminary investigations which began on February 4 has so far revealed that there appears to be “reasonable” suspicion of the commission of corruption and corruption-related offences the matter on February 4, 2020.

A statement issued Monday February 10, 2020 and signed by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu indicated that “relevant domestic public institutions which can assist the on-going investigation have been contacted to provide information and documents under Act 959.”

“Contacts have also been initiated with the appropriate foreign authorities as provided by law for information and documents to assist the on-going investigation,” it added.

“The Special Prosecutor has determined that the said referral and the deferred prosecution agreements and judgements 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 Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959),” the statement disclosed.

Meanwhile, the OSP is calling on the public to avoid the temptation of speculating or politicising the issue “so as to allow this Office to treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simpliciter and nothing more, pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

An investigation by United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) indicates that between 2011 and 2015, an unnamed government official and his sibling colluded to get the Government of Ghana to purchase 3 aircrafts from the European multinational aerospace corporation, Airbus, for a ‘bribe’ of ‘approximately €5 million’ from workers of the company.

This has caused public outrage especially toward the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government which was in power during the period in question.

In a sharp defence however, a former minister of Justice under the erstwhile NDC era, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said the investigations by the UK doesn’t “allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian Government official”, adding that media reportage concerning the issue are “false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgement.

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