Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice in the erstwhile John Mahama government, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, has said that reports alleging that Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama are false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgement.
According to her, the Approved Judgement of the Crown Court of Southwark approving the Deferred Prosecution Agreement(DPA) between Airbus and the UK Serious Fraud Office does not allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian government official.
“It is, therefore, a gross distortion for the media to conclude that officials of the Ghana Government between 2009 and 2015 were bribed or paid any commission by Airbus for the acquisition of the Casa C-295 aircraft,” a statement signed the former government official said.
Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, has admitted paying huge bribes in order to secure contracts in Ghana, under the erstwhile Mills-Mahama administration.
Airbus was found guilty by a High Court in London and is to pay a fine of 3 billion pounds (£3bn) as penalties. Anti-corruption investigators according to The Guardian Report, has described the court’s decision as the largest ever corporate fine for bribery in the world after judges declared the corruption was “grave, pervasive and pernicious.”
The Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO’s) investigation related to bribery offences in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia and Ghana. The PNF’s investigation related to bribery and corruption offences in China, Colombia, Nepal, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia (Arabsat), Taiwan and Russia.
The joint investigation team (JIT’s) investigation was vast in scale and in scope. It covered all of the BPs engaged by the Airbus divisions until 2016 – more than 1,750 entities across the world. The JIT focussed particularly on about 110 BPs for which red flags had been identified, from amongst which the JIT selected several investigation priorities.
The French Parquet National Financier (PNF) focused its investigations on Airbus and/or its divisions’ conduct in the United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea, Nepal, India, Taiwan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, and Kuwait.
The SFO focused its investigations on Airbus and/or its divisions’ conduct in South Korea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Taiwan, Ghana, Colombia and Mexico. Within this scope, the PNF and SFO selected a representative sample of the markets and concerns involved.
Ghana under late President John Atta-Mills in 2011 and former President John Mahama in 2015, acquired three Airbus C295 planes from the company as part of an effort to augment and modernize the fleet of the Ghana Armed Forces.
It emerged that the first order of the military aeroplane arrived in the country on November 17, 2011, followed by a second on March 19, 2012. The last order arrived in the country on December 4, 2015.
President John Dramani Mahama, in November 2014, announced that Ghana was to acquire an additional C295, in addition to other aircraft, including five Super Tucanos, Mi-17s and four Z-9s.
A total of about $150 million was spent in acquiring all the three aircraft, one of which overshot the runway recently. Ghana’s Ministry of Defence stated that the accident happened because the aircraft had not gone for its scheduled maintenance.
Former Attorney General Rebuffs Reports on Airbus Bribery Claim: