Investigators at the center of the airbus saga that uncovered Ghanaian officials’ complicity in huge bribery have said the possible imposition of death penalty is the reason why they hid the suspects’ identity.
Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, confessed to a High Court in London of paying huge bribes in order to secure contracts in Ghana, between 2011 and 2015.
The plane maker has been fined three billion pounds (£3bn) as penalties. Anti-corruption investigators, according to The Guardian Report, have described the court’s decision as the largest ever corporate fine for bribery in the world after judges declared the corruption was “grave, pervasive and pernicious.”
The other reason why the suspects were not publicly named was the fact that the suspects have not been heard and hence will be prejudicial to publicize their names.
“In the Statement of Facts, the identity of the individuals concerned has not been included. There are ongoing investigations in respect of a number of individual suspects in this jurisdiction and abroad.” The report said.
“It is appropriate to protect the rights of the suspects to a fair trial. In addition, some of the individuals involved in the relevant conduct are based in jurisdictions where there are human rights concerns, and the death penalty exists for corruption. Further, the intermediary companies used by Airbus were often made up of a few individuals.
Naming the companies would, therefore, be tantamount to naming those individuals. To go further than the Statement of Facts or my summary and identify the employees or others by name, would be to prejudice potential criminal proceedings and could lead to action or the imposition of a penalty which, in this country, we would regard as contravening Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
The investigators continue: “The identities and positions of relevant employees and other persons referred to in the Statement of Facts have however been made known to me so that I have been able to assess their comparative seniority and, thus, the responsibility of Airbus. In the circumstances, however, none are identified.”