Airbus bribery scandal: Ghana’s special prosecutor begins investigations, says there is reasonable suspicion of corruption, bribery

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has confirmed that it has begun its investigations into the Airbus bribery scandal.

Airbus bribery scandal: Ghana’s special prosecutor begins investigations, says there is reasonable suspicion of corruption, bribery

According to the OSP, there is enough “reasonable suspicion” of corruption and bribery in the deferred prosecution agreement between the European aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus and the British Serious Fraud Office in which Ghana was featured, hence a decision to commence an investigation.

Background

On January 31, 2020, Ghana was named as one of five countries that Airbus paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts, leading a court in Britain to slap a fine of £3 billion on the company.

In addition to Ghana, the company allegedly paid bribes to officials in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Taiwan within the same period.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office, however, in its statement of fact did not name the Ghanaian officials because investigations were still ongoing.

This led to President Akufo-Addo tasking the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the scandal.

While the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) believes an investigation into the issue is unnecessary because no bribe was taken, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has already come out to name former President John Dramani Mahama as government official 1, an elected public figure who dominated the report.

What the OSP said

Responding to the request from the Presidency, Ghana’s Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu said offences including bribery of public officers and the use of public offices for private profits which falls within his jurisdiction under the OPS Act, 2017 (Act 959) has been determined.

According to him, “the relevant domestic public institutions which can assist with the on-going investigation have already been contacted to provide information and documents.”

He is, therefore, appealing to the public not to “speculate or politicise the disclosures made in the deferred prosecution agreement and judgment so as to allow his office treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simpliciter and nothing more.”

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