Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has urged political parties to stop politicizing the issue of the Airbus bribery scandal.
A statement issued and signed by him, says 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 politicize the disclosures made in the deferred prosecution agreements and judgment so as to allow this Office to treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simpliciter and nothing more, pending the conclusion of the investigation”.
If you may recall, President Akufo-Addo referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor after court documents from the UK and the US surfaced alleging wrongdoing by Airbus SE in a series of business deals in countries including Ghana.
According to Martin 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)”.
Airbus Bribery Scandal
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 huge bribes 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 $3.9 billion for the payment of bribes to secure deals in the five countries named Ghana.
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.
Meanwhile, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are playing political football with the issue.
Even though no name was mentioned in the UK Crown Court in Southwark’s ruling, the NPP at a press conference, was categorical that government official 1 is Mahama and has, therefore, asked him to break his silence over the allegation.
The NDC has refuted any wrongdoing.