The Embassy of Sweden in Liberia describes as unfounded, accusations made against Sweden and unspecified European countries by the Washington-based International Justice Group (IJG), as was published in the November 7th edition of the New Dawn.
In a statement dated November 6, 2023, IJG executive director Cllr. Jerome Verdier alleged that Sweden, European Countries and others around the world are spending millions in bribes through their agents in Liberia in bribing members of the Liberian Legislature and President Weah to pass the Abortion on Demand Bill into law in Liberia.
Members of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature of Liberia passed the Abortion Billion into law recently prior to adjourning on November 1, 2023, to participate in the 14 November 2023 Runoff Presidential Election.
But the International Justice Group (IJG) based in Washington, DC, the United States says the Bill is not good for Liberia and must be abandoned immediately by the Liberian Government.
“We condemn it in its entirety and further condemn the bad governance practice of bribery to influence and corrupt the decision-making process of the National Legislature and the Executive Branch of Government without regard to the public interest of the people of Liberia”, Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, notes in a statement released on Monday, November 6th
But the Sweden Embassy in Monrovia terms the Position Statement by Cllr. Verdier titled Liberia: Abortion is Murder” disinformation about Swedish conduct in Liberia, noting that without providing any proof, Cllr. Verdier accuses Sweden of soliciting bribes.
“The Embassy has already refuted these accusations, but we now feel the need to once again assure the readers of the New Dawn and all other Liberians that Sweden does not accept any kind of corruption within our Foreign Service nor in our international development cooperation. Sweden has rigorous standards in place to detect and deter corrupt behaviors including bribery. We do not give nor receive bribes”, a response issued by the Embassy in Monrovia reads.
It notes that the Embassy has clear mechanisms for whistleblowers to channel information and evidence of corrupt practices within the Swedish Foreign Service anonymously and that, So far no one has been able to provide any form of proof to substantiate the falsehoods echoed by Cllr. Verdier.
“This year Sweden and Liberia enjoy 65 years of excellent bilateral relations. The Embassy is proud to be present in Liberia and to join hands with Liberians in celebrating 20 years of peace and stability. Despite challenges, Liberia has made impressive gains. Sweden is a steadfast development cooperation partner and will continue partnering with Liberia for sustainable development, peace, and prosperity”, the Embassy notes. Editing by Jonathan Browne