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General News of Sunday, 21 October 2007

Source: Crusading Guide

Scancem Bribe: Apology or no Apology?


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NORWEGIAN JOURNALISTS APOLOGISED FOR THEIR INABILITY TO SPEAK TO ‘THE RAWLINGSES’ – ARCHER


But Norwegian Journalists Counter!

Crusading Guide -- Harald Vanvik and Geir Imset, the two Norwegian journalists who authored the Scancem bribery scandal story in which ex-President Rawlings, his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and Mr. P.V. Obeng – former Presidential Advisor to the ex-President – were said to have received bribes in excess of $4m, have denied categorically ever apologizing to “the Rawlingses” for publishing “a false story” against them or retracting what their paper carried.

The two journalists who authored the story for the widely circulated Norwegian newspaper - Dagens Naerinsliv (DN) – in an exchange of text messages with this paper, said they rather expressed regret for not succeeding in their efforts to make contacts with ‘the Rawlingses’ before the publication (story) came out, though they had tried to no avail to get them (Rawlingses) for their side to the story.

“It is not correct. The thing we have regretted is that we were not able to make contact with Mr. Rawlings before we printed the article, although we tried to reach him”, said Geir Imset, in a text message to the Editor-In-Chief (still on leave) of this paper, Kweku Baako Jnr., yesterday, October 15, 2007.

The reaction of the Norwegian journalists comes in the wake of a publication in The Enquirer newspaper of the Monday 15 - Tuesday 16 October, 2007 edition.

The publication was headed “$5m BRIBE: J.J. GETS APOLOGY”, and purported to suggest that the DN had apologized and retracted the publication it made about ‘the Rawlingses’ and Mr. P.V. Obeng on the Scancem bribery scandal, upon a rejoinder ‘the Rawlingses’ had sent to it (DN).

Part of the rejoinder which was carried by The Enquirer, expressed the concern by Mr. Rawlings that the DN reporters did not hear their (Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings’) side of the story, (though they were central to it) and yet went ahead and published it.

“My wife and I, therefore, find it extremely buffling that based on the prominence that we have been given in the general presentation of this report, the journalists did not find it necessary to contact us prior to publishing the report for whatever we might have to say. My wife and I find it difficult to comprehend how such accusations can be made against us by a supposedly reputable newspaper without first verifying the facts or at least talking to us for our side of the story. Why the same journalists, in the further search of the story, had even traveled to Accra, Ghana, where my wife and I still live, and yet did not bother to contact us, can only leave one to speculate”, Rawlings underscored in his rejoinder.

However, coincidentally, when Kweku Baako Jnr. and Gabby Otchere Darko, Editor-In-Chief of The Statesman, met Harald Venvik and Geir Imset in Oslo, Norway, in relation to the Scancem bribery allegation, they asked the same question – why the reaction of ‘the Rawlingses’ to the story was not captured in their report as complained by ‘the Rawlingses’ in their rejoinder.

“Did you make any attempt whatsoever to get in touch with them?”, Gabby asked. Geir Imset replied: I tried to call the party office several times. I tried to call Mr. Rawlings’ party office several times; I called them for three or four days, but I didn’t get any answer. They did not answer any of those phone calls.

According to the two journalists, when they got in touch with P.V. Obeng, they asked him to help them get in touch with ‘the Rawlingses’, but he was unable to do so.

The journalists said they also went to the residence of ‘the Rawlingses’ when they made it to Accra, but could not gain access to it because the gates were firmly closed.

Rawlings in his rejoinder, supposedly doubting the credibility of the story, referred to Garhard Heiberg, one of the Scancem top officials, who according to the DN story, spoke in support of Tor Kjelsaas.

Tor Kjelsaas, readers will recall, was the African representative of Scancem who told his employers that he paid bribes to some African leaders and top politicians in order for Scancem to gain monopoly in the countries concerned.

Gerhard Heiberg went to court to corroborate the claims of Tor Kjelsaas as having paid monies to people like Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings and P.V. Obeng, among others.

Rawlings in reference to Heiberg, said he (Heiberg) had granted an interview to a Ghanaian private radio station where he denied the attribution to him that he had corroborated Kjelsaas’ claim in court that ‘the Rawlingses’ had been mentioned as recipients of bribe money.

Once again, readers will recall that Kweku Baako Jnr., when in Norway, tried to contact Heiberg to ascertain whether it was he who in the Ghanaian radio station (Radio Gold precisely) interview, denied mentioning ‘the Rawlingses’ in the Norwegian court as recipients of the Scancem bribe money.

Heiberg failed to answer Kweku Baako’s question as to whether he was the same person in the Radio Gold interview who denied that ‘the Rawlingses’ were mentioned at the Norwegian court for receiving bribe money from Tor Kjelsaas.

The Asker and Baerum District Court in Oslo, Norway, readers will recall, as was published by this paper and others - based on what the Norwegian DN published - admitted in its judgement in the Scancem International ANS versus Tor Egil Kjelsaas case that bribery of politicians, businessmen and others by ex-Scancem officials really took place in Ghana and other West African countries such as Nigeria and Togo.

AS CARRIED IN THE THE CRUSADING GUIDE OF 23RD – 29TH AUGUST 2007, “THE COURT OBSERVED THAT, ‘THE PARTIES’ - SCANCEM INTERNATIONAL ANS AND TOR EGIL KJELSAAS – AGREED THAT BRIBES WHICH WERE MADE WERE NOT CONTRARY TO NORWEGIAN LAW OR NATIONAL LEGISLATION IN GHANA OR NIGERIA”’.

According to the issue, “Scancem International ANS’s culture of bribery and corruption in Ghana in the 1990s were built around Tor Egil Kjelsaas”, adding that “It was Tor Egil Kjelsaas with contacts in Ghana, who agreed on how much the bribes would be in each case, and who instructed the payments along with another member of staff”.

The 24th – 30th July, 2007 of The Crusading GUIDE under the headline, “Jerry & Wife’s Bribery Scandal ….As captured in The Norwegian ‘DN’ Newspaper”, said “Heiberg noted that considerable sums of money were paid to Rawlings and his wife”.

THE PAPER, QUOTING HEIBERG’S SUBMISSION IN COURT, SAID “RAWLINGS AND HIS SPOUSE WERE AMONG THOSE WHO RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE PAYMENTS FROM SCANCEM”.

Stay tuned.

Scancem Bribery Scandal: NO APOLOGY TO JJ & WIFE


Norwegian Journalists Counter!

Crusading Guide --Harald Vanvik and Geir Imset, the two Norwegian journalists who authored the Scancem bribery scandal story in which ex-President Rawlings, his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and Mr. P.V. Obeng – former Presidential Advisor to the ex-President – were said to have received bribes in excess of $4m, have denied categorically ever apologizing to “the Rawlingses” for publishing “a false story” against them or retracting what their paper carried.

The two journalists who authored the story for the widely circulated Norwegian newspaper - Dagens Naerinsliv (DN) – in an exchange of text messages with this paper, said they rather expressed regret for not succeeding in their efforts to make contacts with ‘the Rawlingses’ before the publication (story) came out, though they had tried to no avail to get them (Rawlingses) for their side to the story.

“It is not correct. The thing we have regretted is that we were not able to make contact with Mr. Rawlings before we printed the article, although we tried to reach him”, said Geir Imset, in a text message to the Editor-In-Chief (still on leave) of this paper, Kweku Baako Jnr., yesterday, October 15, 2007.

The reaction of the Norwegian journalists comes in the wake of a publication in The Enquirer newspaper of the Monday 15 - Tuesday 16 October, 2007 edition.

The publication was headed “$5m BRIBE: J.J. GETS APOLOGY”, and purported to suggest that the DN had apologized and retracted the publication it made about ‘the Rawlingses’ and Mr. P.V. Obeng on the Scancem bribery scandal, upon a rejoinder ‘the Rawlingses’ had sent to it (DN).

Part of the rejoinder which was carried by The Enquirer, expressed the concern by Mr. Rawlings that the DN reporters did not hear their (Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings’) side of the story, (though they were central to it) and yet went ahead and published it.

“My wife and I, therefore, find it extremely buffling that based on the prominence that we have been given in the general presentation of this report, the journalists did not find it necessary to contact us prior to publishing the report for whatever we might have to say. My wife and I find it difficult to comprehend how such accusations can be made against us by a supposedly reputable newspaper without first verifying the facts or at least talking to us for our side of the story. Why the same journalists, in the further search of the story, had even traveled to Accra, Ghana, where my wife and I still live, and yet did not bother to contact us, can only leave one to speculate”, Rawlings underscored in his rejoinder.

However, coincidentally, when Kweku Baako Jnr. and Gabby Otchere Darko, Editor-In-Chief of The Statesman, met Harald Venvik and Geir Imset in Oslo, Norway, in relation to the Scancem bribery allegation, they asked the same question – why the reaction of ‘the Rawlingses’ to the story was not captured in their report as complained by ‘the Rawlingses’ in their rejoinder.

“Did you make any attempt whatsoever to get in touch with them?”, Gabby asked. Geir Imset replied: I tried to call the party office several times. I tried to call Mr. Rawlings’ party office several times; I called them for three or four days, but I didn’t get any answer. They did not answer any of those phone calls.

According to the two journalists, when they got in touch with P.V. Obeng, they asked him to help them get in touch with ‘the Rawlingses’, but he was unable to do so.

The journalists said they also went to the residence of ‘the Rawlingses’ when they made it to Accra, but could not gain access to it because the gates were firmly closed.

Rawlings in his rejoinder, supposedly doubting the credibility of the story, referred to Garhard Heiberg, one of the Scancem top officials, who according to the DN story, spoke in support of Tor Kjelsaas.

Tor Kjelsaas, readers will recall, was the African representative of Scancem who told his employers that he paid bribes to some African leaders and top politicians in order for Scancem to gain monopoly in the countries concerned.

Gerhard Heiberg went to court to corroborate the claims of Tor Kjelsaas as having paid monies to people like Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings and P.V. Obeng, among others.

Rawlings in reference to Heiberg, said he (Heiberg) had granted an interview to a Ghanaian private radio station where he denied the attribution to him that he had corroborated Kjelsaas’ claim in court that ‘the Rawlingses’ had been mentioned as recipients of bribe money.

Once again, readers will recall that Kweku Baako Jnr., when in Norway, tried to contact Heiberg to ascertain whether it was he who in the Ghanaian radio station (Radio Gold precisely) interview, denied mentioning ‘the Rawlingses’ in the Norwegian court as recipients of the Scancem bribe money.

Heiberg failed to answer Kweku Baako’s question as to whether he was the same person in the Radio Gold interview who denied that ‘the Rawlingses’ were mentioned at the Norwegian court for receiving bribe money from Tor Kjelsaas.

The Asker and Baerum District Court in Oslo, Norway, readers will recall, as was published by this paper and others - based on what the Norwegian DN published - admitted in its judgement in the Scancem International ANS versus Tor Egil Kjelsaas case that bribery of politicians, businessmen and others by ex-Scancem officials really took place in Ghana and other West African countries such as Nigeria and Togo.

AS CARRIED IN THE THE CRUSADING GUIDE OF 23RD – 29TH AUGUST 2007, “THE COURT OBSERVED THAT, ‘THE PARTIES’ - SCANCEM INTERNATIONAL ANS AND TOR EGIL KJELSAAS – AGREED THAT BRIBES WHICH WERE MADE WERE NOT CONTRARY TO NORWEGIAN LAW OR NATIONAL LEGISLATION IN GHANA OR NIGERIA”’.

According to the issue, “Scancem International ANS’s culture of bribery and corruption in Ghana in the 1990s were built around Tor Egil Kjelsaas”, adding that “It was Tor Egil Kjelsaas with contacts in Ghana, who agreed on how much the bribes would be in each case, and who instructed the payments along with another member of staff”.

The 24th – 30th July, 2007 of The Crusading GUIDE under the headline, “Jerry & Wife’s Bribery Scandal ….As captured in The Norwegian ‘DN’ Newspaper”, said “Heiberg noted that considerable sums of money were paid to Rawlings and his wife”.

THE PAPER, QUOTING HEIBERG’S SUBMISSION IN COURT, SAID “RAWLINGS AND HIS SPOUSE WERE AMONG THOSE WHO RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE PAYMENTS FROM SCANCEM”.

Stay tuned.

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