Ghana’s Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, has started investigations into the Airbus bribery scandal.
In a statement, Mr. Amidu said the probe kicked off February 4, 2020, after establishing that there is reasonable suspicion of corruption in the Airbus scandal.
Last week, President Nana Akufo-Addo referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor after court documents from the UK and the US found Airbus SE guilty in a series of unlawful business deals in countries including Ghana where a relative of a top elected government official was allegedly bribed.
“The Special Prosecutor has determined that the said referral and deferred prosecution of 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 office which are offences falling within the mandate of this office under the office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017 Act (595). A preliminary investigation was, accordingly opened on 4 February 2020 by this office into the allegations contained in the judgements referred to this Office aforesaid,” Mr Amidu said in his statement.
The statement further noted that the relevant domestic public institutions have been invited to provide relevant documents to aid in the probe.
It, therefore, urged the public not to speculate or politicise the content of the UK and America courts on the matter until after the outcome of the investigations.
“The relevant domestic public institutions which can assist the ongoing investigations have been contacted to provide information and documents under Act (595).
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor appeals to the general public not to speculate or politicise the disclosures made in the deferred prosecutors agreements and judgements so as to allow this office to treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simplicita and nothing more pending the conclusion of the investigations,” the statement said.
European aviation giant, Airbus, has confessed to paying huge sums of money as bribe to government officials and persons close to the seat of government during the Mills and Mahama administration.
Court documents reveal that Ghana is among countries Airbus doled out millions of dollars as bribe between 2011 and 2015 to strike deals through secret agents.
“It was a pervasive and pernicious bribery scheme in various divisions of Airbus SE that went on for a number of years,” US District Judge Thomas Hogan said.
The European planemaker has now agreed a record $4bn settlement with France, the United Kingdom and the United States as a result of the scandal. The US Department of Justice said the deal was the largest-ever foreign bribery settlement.
The scheme was run by a unit at Airbus’ French headquarters, which its one-time chief executive, Tom Enders, reportedly called “bullshit castle”.
The disclosures, made public after a nearly four-year investigation spanning sales to more than a dozen overseas markets, came as courts on both sides of the Atlantic formally approved settlements that lift a legal cloud that has hung over Europe’s largest aerospace group for years.
Read the full details surrounding how Ghana acquired three Airbus C295 from the company for its military.