Managing editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr believes the consistent resurrection of the Airbus scandal is nothing but mischievous attempts by some political actors to score points.
According to him, the unrelenting pursuit of the scandal by some government officials to name and shame some former state officials is an ‘act in futility’.
“What I can say is that I’ve all the documents on the so-called Airbus scandal and so on and I think that it’s an act in futility…,” Mr Pratt told GhanaWeb in an exclusive interview.
According to the veteran journalist, unlike the British authorities which decided to accept payment of penalties from the European airplane makers to protect jobs, some Ghanaian political figures are rather stoking up the scandal in pursuit of their personal interests.
Mr Pratt holds strongly that with barely five months to the general elections, some level of political orchestration is accountable for the seemingly undying $4 billion scandal.
“The British authorities came to the conclusion that Airbus should pay some kind of reparation and that the matter ends there…I didn’t see the British authorities arrest anybody or facilitating the prosecution of anybody when they have actually come to an agreement with Airbus to protect British industries…the British acted in their own interest.
However, in the case of Ghana he argued that, “…We’ve seen all the technical problems which have been raised with regards to the so-called red alert…because people want to use the case for reasons other than fighting corruption. There’s an election coming up and people are throwing dirt at each other…so part of all of this is orchestration. I have no doubt at all that part of it is orchestration,” Mr Pratt concluded.
According to a report by Reuters , Airbus agreed to pay a total of €3.6 billion (U.S. $4 billion) in penalties to prosecutors in the United States, United Kingdom, and France over an “endemic” bribery scandal that saw the company pay bribes to win contracts in 20 countries around the world as a way of escaping criminal prosecution.
In Ghana however, the latest development is that the Special Prosecutor who promised to take up investigation of the case has unravelled the identities of four accomplices in the scandal who played roles in accepting and paying €3,909,756 as bribe, on behalf of AIRBUS SE, to some key Ghanaian public officials from 2009 to 2015.
One of these four persons is a brother to the former president John Dramani Mahama who served as president during the period of the scandal.
An Interpol Red Notice was subsequently issued by the Special Prosecutor to aid the extradition and possible trial of the four. Now, the Special Prosecutor has written to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to aid the extradition of the former president’s brother, Adam Foster otherwise known as Adam Mahama
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