- The former TOR boss has been found guilty of bribery
- Asante Berko was found guilty in over a $4.5million bribery case
- The arrangement was to help a client win a power plant contract in the West African country
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The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has found a former boss of the Tema Oil Refinery, Asante Berko, guilty of bribery.
According to the US SEC, Berko, a former executive at Goldman’s London subsidiary, arranged millions of dollars in bribes to be paid to a government official in Ghana.
The arrangement was to help a client win a power plant contract in the West African country.
In a report sighted on Starrfm.com.gh, Berko is expected to pay $329,000 as a penalty for engaging in bribery per court filings.
“Mr Berko is pleased to put this matter behind him,” Starrfm.com.gh quoted his lawyer, Carl Loewenson Jr., a partner at the law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP, as saying.
According to the US SEC, the penalty represents the net profits Berko gained as a result of the alleged bribery scheme, plus interest.
The genesis of Berko’s woes
The US SEC charged Berko in an April 2020 civil lawsuit for facilitating as much as $4.5 million in bribes.
This is to help a Turkish energy company win a contract to build a power plant in Ghana.
Berko reportedly personally paid at least $66,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament, the SEC’s lawsuit said in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In other news
A Commercial Court in London instructed Ghana to pay a whopping amount of $170m in damages to GPGC.
This was after the court rejected a late appeal by the government of Ghana to set aside the judgement awarded against it.
The London-based United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Tribunal on January 26, 2021, awarded the judgement debt against Ghana.
Delay in appealing judgement
Ghana had 28 days under British law to appeal the Tribunal’s decision. Instead, the country waited three days to the expiry of the deadline to ask for an extension through Omnia Strategy, a British law firm.
The firm asked for 56 days—twice the allowed grace period.
The court, however, set March 8, 2021, for the government of Ghana to file the processes to appeal the Tribunal’s decision but again waited until April 1, 2021, before filing through another British law firm, Volterra Fietta.
The law firm received the instructions to represent the country ten days after Ghana’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice.
However, on June 8, 2021, the London Commercial Court presided by Justice Butcher ruled on the matter, noting the excuses given by the government of Ghana were unreasonable and “intrinsically weak.”
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