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General News of Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Source: The Statesman

Scancem Bribed NDC


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... and accuses NPP too ? NDC Ex-Minister

The Statesman has in its possession documentary evidence of bank transfers from Scancem, the Oslo-based multinational cement company, through a conduit into the coffers of the National Democratic Congress two months before the 2000 general elections. The evidence include a letter dated October 13, 2000 authorising the transfer, a bank statement confirming the transfer and a signed handwritten letter from a former NDC Minister to the National Chairman of the party confirming the receipt of the money and related matters.

When we confronted the former Minister with the details yesterday, he confessed to the transaction. He, however, added that Scancem routinely bribed political parties. One of such transactions, details of which are with The Statesman, involved about $232,000 (?116,000) to the NDC. The money was transferred into the accounts of a now defunct company in Tema. It was then transferred from that company's account at the Trust Bank to the former Minister's account, details of which are in our possession. $30,000 was also paid in cash to the said former Minister, plus $10,000 in bankers? draft. The Statesman can further disclose that the NDC was led to Scancem by a 'betweener? who is now a diplomat.

Read tomorrow?s edition for more details, including the disclosure of the former Minister who confessed in a tape-recorded interview with The Statesman that the bribery took place. The former Minister, who said he knew nothing about the alleged $4 million bribery scandal before Norway?s appeal court. In that case the one party is claiming he used the money as intended to bribe top government officials, including President Jerry John Rawlings. But, the new owners of Scancem are alleging that the defendant stole the money intended for bribing government officials.

When this matter was put the former Minister yesterday, he said the bribery from Scancem, at least what he knew was for political parties: "It?s not about Rawlings it?s about funding political parties,? he said. The interview took place in our office at Kokomlemle, where he was confronted with the evidence. But, his demeanour gave the impression that the bribery was not viewed as a ?big deal? then.

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