Emile Short suggests Deputy SP leads Airbus probe

Justice Francis Emile Short has said the Deputy Special Prosecutor can lead investigations into the Airbus saga if the Special Prosecutor (SP) Martin Amidu’s alleged prior involvement in the matter presents a challenge.

Mr Short, a respected statesman, anti-graft campaigner and a former Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)  said the Deputy Special Prosecutor Ms Cynthia Lamptey, has the appropriate legal mandate to act on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The suggestion Justice Short followed a claim by a member of the legal team for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edudzie Tamakloe, that Mr Amidu, then the Attorney General and now, Special Prosecutor, gave legal clearance for the purchase of military aircraft from the now scandalised aircraft dealers, Airbus.

“Even if he (Mr Amidu) is not able to handle the matter, let’s not forget that there is a Deputy Special Prosecutor and there are other lawyers within the office.

The office is not just Martin Amidu, I think we should keep that in mind,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Justice Short who is also a retired High Court judge said he was confident in Martin Amidu-led Office of the Special Prosecutor to successfully probe the scandal.

He said Mr Amidu himself has proven over the years to be a ruthless anti-graft campaigner and hence would deliver on the President’s directive to unravel the names of the government officials involved in the matter.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has tasked the Office of the Special Prosecutor to unravel the identities of Ghanaian public officials said to have been engaged in the bribery scandal with Airbus.

The action by the President was taken after Ghana was named on January 31, this year, as one of five countries in which the plane maker paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts, leading the company having a settlement judgement with Britain court of £3 billion fine.

In court documents and hearings in the United Kingdom, Airbus admitted five counts of failing to prevent bribery, using a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries, including Ghana, to land high-value contracts.

It also stated that between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official as an intermediary or agent in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the government of Ghana.

The January 31 judgment further revealed that: “Airbus, through one of its Spanish defence subsidiaries, conducted two campaigns to sell its C-295 military transport aircraft to the government: the first campaign ran from 2009 to 2011, the second from 2013 to 2015.

Intermediary 5, a UK national with no prior expertise in the aerospace industry, acted as the BP for Airbus in both. Company D was the corporate vehicle through which Intermediary 5 and his associates provided services to Airbus.

-myjoyonline.com

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