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Special Prosecutor alleges forgery, impersonation in Airbus bribery scandal

As the Office of the Special continues its investigation into the Airbus SE bribery scandal, it has disclosed the commission of other crimes related to the scandal.

According to the Office, its investigations have shown that some of the players in the scandal engaged in impersonation and forged documents for the acquisition of a Ghanaian passport.

In a statement signed by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu said some of the players portrayed themselves as graduates of the University of Ghana and civil servants and forged other documents.

“The SP wishes to assure the noise makers that the investigation into the Airbus SE bribery case in Ghana has been so thorough that it has even unearthed suspected commission of other related crimes of impersonation as graduates of the University of Ghana, a civil servant and forgeries in the application for the acquisition of a Ghanaian passport connected to this bribery case. The unethical and touting layers ought to know better that the guarantors of the Ghanaian passport are prima facie abettors of the impersonation and forgeries, as much as the guarantor who claimed falsely to be a civil servant. The passport has relevance to documents employed in facilitating the Airbus SE (Ghana) bribery,” the Special Prosecutor’s office noted in a statement.

Martin Amidu issued the statement in response to critics of the Interpol’s Red Notice for the arrest of some four persons alleged to have played roles in the bribery scandal.

Interpol has issued a notice for the arrest and possible extradition of Samuel Adam Foster, also known as Adam Mahama and three others upon the request of the Office of the Special Prosecutor through the Ghana Police Service.

Critics have taken on the Special Prosecutor and the Akufo-Addo government for the Red Alert.

Critics claimed the Interpol action was unnecessary.

But the Special Prosecutor has defended the action, insisting that he has a good case warranting the Interpol Red Notice.

“The SP wishes to inform Ghanaians that his Office has conducted an independent investigation and gathered credible evidence for the steps it has taken so far, and will continue to take in the gluttonous Airbus SE (Ghana) bribery case.”

He also took on lawyers criticising his work describing them as “unethical and inexperienced.”

“The SP is well known in this country and amongst the community of ethical lawyers and the senior judiciary as a person who had practised the law ethically for upwards of forty years. Some of the unethical lawyers who were assaulting the person and character of the SP on the airwaves are lawyers who are in their twenties and early thirties: they have not been yet cut their teeth at the Ghana Bar. The SP refused to be drawn into the affray of turning law into politics as is the forte of those unethical and inexperienced lawyers with no or very limited distinguished courtroom practice vindicating their standing as lawyers in the Ghana Law Reports,” he added.

Background

On January 31, Ghana was cited as one of five countries in which global aerospace group, Airbus SE, allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015, according to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

This led to a record £3 billion in settlement by Airbus with France, the United Kingdom and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.

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

These investigations were expected to be conducted in collaboration with UK authorities, according to a statement from the presidency.

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 individual Ghanaian officials nor the Airbus agents involved in the crime because investigations were still ongoing.

In the case of Ghana, the UK court found that the company’s bribe was to land the contract of purchase of a military transport aircraft.

The documents indicated that one of the unnamed Ghanaian officials was “a key decision-maker in respect of Government of Ghana aircraft orders.”

A number of Airbus employees “made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million” to one of the Ghanaians implicated in the acts of corruption.

Allegations against Mahama

Although no names were listed by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has come out to insist that former President John Mahama is the person identified as the “elected Government Official 1″ named in US and UK court documents.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in power during the period the bribes were allegedly paid, denied the claims.

Mr. Mahama also said he was not part of any underhand dealings in the matter.

He held that claims that he made some financial gains from the purchase of the two aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces were untrue.

citinewsroom.com

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