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Sammy Crabbe: gov’t has goofed in charging me

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 Source: Chronicle

The battle lines have been drawn, and legal prowess challenged to action, with the commencement of the long-awaited legal tussle, between the state and the some former ministers who served in the Kufour administration. But, even before events take shape in what has been described as a test case for the Attorney General, Betty Mould Idrisu, and her National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, one of the defendants in the case, Mr. Sammy Crabbe, has fired the first shot, calling the prosecution as premeditated, adding that the government had goofed from all angles of the case.

Mr. Sammy Crabbe, together with the former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, former Roads Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Anane, and former Finance Minister, Anthony Akoto Osei, would be in court today for their roles in the establishment and management of the Ghana International Airlines (GIA).

They are expected to be charged with fraud, stealing, and willfully causing financial loss to the state.

But, an unperturbed Sammy Crabbe, who spoke on Joy FM’s supper morning show yesterday, thinks the prosecution is premeditated, and exposes the NDC government’s formed opinion that there was wrongdoing at the Ghana International Airline, even before they took over power.

This, he said, had not hidden from the panel investigating their involvement in the GIA case, noting, “during the period that we have to appear before the panel to answer some questions, I made it very clear to them that the NDC, even before they came to power, had in their manifesto made suggestions, so that this case has been prejudiced.

They have formed their minds, and have settled on the fact that some wrongdoings had been done in Ghana International Airline or around the deal.”

The alleged prejudice in the case makes Mr. Crabbe think that the period where they had to appear before panels to answer questions, was a total waste of time and resources, as they had already formed their opinion about their involvement in the GIA, and the deals around it.

“At the end of the day, they have wasted everybody’s time, and we are where we are now. They should have just gone ahead to charge us,” he noted.

Speaking on the allegations that he (Sammy Crabbe), representing the minority share holder of the GIA, on June 2005 withdrew $1.9 million from the government of Ghana’s account without approval, he said that none of them had access to the government of Ghana’s account, and thus questioned, “Who signed that document; who accepted that signature, or even an authorised signature, who, me, Sammy Crabbe, or any of my partners? Can you just get up right now, and sign to withdraw money from the government of Ghana’s account? He queried.

He said the problem with the government was its difficulty in fitting in as a business partner in a business relationship.

“If a private person should invest in a company that government also has an interest, does it mean that that person’s money immediately becomes public money? These are some of the things we need to look at. I believe that the government has goofed on this one,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports reaching this paper indicate that two former government officials, who are due for court today to answer charges of willfully causing financial loss to the state, with regard to the ailing Ghanaian International Airline (GIA) saga, yesterday failed to appear before the police investigative committee.

The committee that has completed its investigations, and notified the accused persons, Dr. Richard Anane, former Minister of Roads and Transport and Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, former Minister of Presidential Affairs, to appear before a court today.

Mr. Sammy Crabbe, a minority shareholder in the GIA and immediate past Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has been formally been charged with four counts - conspiracy to defraud the state, conspiracy to steal and willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Source: Chronicle
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