Friday, October 2, 2009
Kwame Peprah speaks on Mabey & Johnson bribery
Former Finance Minister, Kwame Preprah The Former Finance Minister, Mr. Kwame Peprah, has expressed shock at an attempt by the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO-UK) to smear him with corruption, in its recent trial of Mabey and Johnson (M&J) over bribery charges.
Responding to an inquiry by The Enquirer as to how he felt about his name being mentioned in the M&J Scandal, Mr. Peprah, who was also a former Minister of Energy and Mines, said he was still at a loss as to why the UK investigative agency sought to impugn his integrity, when there was no basis for that.
According to him, “I really think it’s unfortunate that even though my name hasn’t cropped up to have received any money, my name has been dragged in, to the extent that they cite the ruling in the Quality Grain trial as evidence of a culture of corruption, when the trial judge in that case himself had stated that there was nothing like ‘stealing, corruption or embezzlement’ against me and my other colleagues in that case.”
On Friday, September 24, 2009: A Southwark Crown Court in London presided over by Geoffrey Rivlin, convicted British bridge construction firm Mabey and Johnson for intercontinental corrupt practices in their dealings with many countries, including Ghana, Iraq, Jamaica.
That decision sent shock waves through the length and breadth of the country, as some of the key persons citied in court documents, including Mr. Peprah, happened to be persons either holding public offices presently or had previously held top public offices in Ghana.
I really think it’s unfortunate that even though my name hasn’t cropped up to have received any money, my name has been dragged in, to the extent that they cite the ruling in the Quality Grain trial as evidence of a culture of corruption, when the trial judge in that case himself had stated that there was nothing like ‘stealing, corruption or embezzlement’ against me and my other colleagues in that case.”
But whereas former directors of M&J, whose conduct the court deemed to be criminal to warrant the conviction of the company, have been shielded from the public, by simply assigning letters to represent them, the SFO throws into its submission with careless abandon, the names of officials in the countries where M&J operated.
For instance, in dragging the names of Ghanaian public officials into the scandal and lacing them with a corruption tag, the SFO asserted among others:
“Dr. Yankey was subsequently convicted in Ghana of conspiring to willfully cause losses to state and served a prison sentence, along with Kwame Peprah,” continuing mischievously, that “Their convictions cannot be directly related to payments from M&J, but reflect the culture of government corruption at the time, a culture with which M&J was only too willing to engage.”
The SFO argument that the conviction of Dr. George Yankey, Former Director of Legal and International Affairs at the Finance Ministry and Mr. Peprah, reflected a “culture of government corruption at the time, ‘run contrary to the stated.
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