You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2006 05 29Article 105001

General News of Monday, 29 May 2006

Source: Joy Online

Prez Jet: Kwamena Bartels "Twists & Turns"

I didn?t say that ? Bartels
The Minister for Information and National Orientation Kwamena Bartels says he did not lie in a press statement announcing the trade in of the Gulf Stream III Presidential jet.

Last week, government traded in the jet for 4 K-8 Chinese military jets and a flight stimulator. In that statement, the minister said world acclaimed valuers in the aviation industry Conklin and de Decker put the market price at $6.5 million.

But a publication in today?s edition of the Enquirer Newspaper says the aviation valuers have denied any involvement in determining the price of the Gulf Stream jet.

In an interview on the Super Morning Show Mr. Bartels explained that he only made reference to the company?s quotes.

?I have a copy of my statement right in front of me and I will quote to you exactly what I said and I quote ?It is significant to know currently the market price for an air worthy Gulf Stream GIII air craft service goes about 6 ? million dollars according to ?Conklin and Decker? world acclaimed and valuers in aviation industry? I did not say and never said that ?Conklin and Decker? valued this equipment?, he said.

The government valued the jet at $5million for the Chinese Deal and according to Mr. Bartels the price was determined by the military and its consultants.

?They tell me their own consultant had looked at the plane and when the offer of 5 million came, they gave advice that this is a fairly good price in relation to the age of the plane and condition in which it was?.

Although an earlier suggestion by the minister that the jet was meant to be an ex-gratia award former president Rawlings has been widely discredited, Mr. Bartels said he stood by his statement.

The decision to trade in the presidential jet has been dogged with controversy with the minority NDC insisting that parliament be appraised of the details of the deal.