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Airbus Bribes Sharing: UK likely to assist Martin Amidu to name ‘Gov’t official 1’, others

The UK government is likely to assist the Special Prosecutor in unraveling the identities of Ghanaians who received $3.9m in bribes in the Airbus saga.

A former Crown Prosecutor, Godwin Adjei-Gyamfi directed the Special Prosecutor to the Serious Fraud Office in the UK to know the identities of the Ghanaians described in court papers as ‘Government Official 1’ and ‘Intermediary 5.’

A court in the UK fined the plane manufacturing company, Airbus £3 billion after the company confessed to paying bribes in several countries including Ghana during investigations into its business deals.

Court documents showed that the company greased the palms of public officials and fixers over a string of hidden payments as part of a pattern of worldwide corruption to facilitate the sales of its wares.

The UK prosecutor’s case against Airbus was that between 1 July 2011 and 1 June 2015 Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with the company from bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the government of Ghana.

The bribery, the document said was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business for Airbus.

According to the court document between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged an unnamed person, only identified as Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghana government official (also not named but referred to as Government Official 1), as its business partner in respect of the proposed sale of three aircraft to the government of Ghana.

Read More:Airbus confesses sharing bribes in Ghana during Mills-Mahama era, as £3bn corruption fine bites

Though the names of the government official (government official 1) was not mentioned, there have been speculations about that the official could be the former President, John Dramani Mahama.

Executive Director for the Media Foundation for West Africa Sulemana Braimah waded into the matter with some analysis which pointed to the former President as being the said government official.

Read More: Blow by blow account of how Airbus ran ‘massive’ bribery scheme to win orders

President Akufo Addo has directed the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu to investigate the case and identify the said individuals behind the scandal.

Speaking in an interview, UK lawyer, Mr. Adjei-Gyamfi outlined some steps the SP, Mr. Amidu could go through to get the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to provide him the necessary information.

“It will be possible that the UK will cooperate and also it will be possible for Mr. Amidu to acquire or unveil the identity of official 1. It is indeed possible…

“If Mr. Amidu is to succeed, he has to write a letter to the Director of the SFO, he must indicate that from reading the judgment, there is sufficient evidence to base a realistic prospect of conviction. It is in the public interest to prosecute individuals involved because corruption is ubiquitous in the republic of Ghana” he said.

According to him, the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu must give the UK the assurance that the fundamental human rights of the individuals in the corruption scandal will be protected.

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