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U.K. PM pledges cooperation in GW probe

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British Prime Minister David Cameron has written President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf vowing his country’s cooperation in the ongoing Sable Mining probe involving key government officials here and company officials in the UK.

 While acknowledging how vital it is to work together to  defeat corruption at all levels, he thanked Mrs. Sirleaf for drawing his attention to the allegations made by Global Witness against Sable Mining.

He pointed out that he is proud that, since 2010, the UK Government has introduced some of the world’s toughest Anti-Corruption legislations, especially on bribery, adding that the Bribery Act of 2010 makes it a criminal offence for a company to fail to prevent a bribe being paid, regardless of where the crime occurred.
 
Mr. Cameron’s comments are in response President Sirleaf’s request for his response to an earlier communication sent to him, requesting the assistance of the UK Government in establishing the veracity and the ramifications of the claims contained in a Global Witness Report against Sable Mining, a London-based company.
The U.K.-based watchdog group Global Witness alleged that Sable Mining bribed Liberian officials including sitting House Speaker Alex Tyler, ruling Unity Party chairman and Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman and several other past and present officials to change Liberian laws in its favor to be awarded a concession contract to mine the Wologizi Mountain.
Following Global Witness’ report that claims to have discovered briberies in the tune over US$950,000, the Liberian Government has since indicted Speaker Tyler, Sen. Sherman, Ernest C.B. Jones and a Nigerian national Chris Onanuga while others face inquiry before a special presidential taskforce headed by Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa.
The Executive Mansion says Mr. Cameron acknowledged that President Sirleaf acted promptly in response to the Global Witness Report by establishing a Special Task Force to investigate the allegations and assured that the UK Government is fully committed to working with the Government of Liberia on the investigation.
 
He informed President Sirleaf that he has asked the UK Ambassador to Liberia to discuss the allegations with relevant Liberian authorities in more detail and for information to be passed on to relevant UK Law Enforcement authorities for further investigation.
 
“Please be assured that the UK stands ready to cooperate with you to tackle corruption wherever it occurs”, he said in a communication to President Sirleaf in response to her request to him for the assistance of the UK Government.
 
President Sirleaf had mentioned that a British company called Sable, was alleged to have apparently offered or given bribes to some Liberian officials, in the tune of USD $950,000.00 to affect the awarding of a mining concession.
An Executive Mansion release dated Saturday, 18 June says Prime Minister Cameron expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for drawing his attention to the allegations made by Global Witness against Sable Mining and agreed that it is vital to work to defeat corruption at all levels.
 
President Sirleaf made emphasis that the UK’s cooperation and collaboration in resolving the issue will go a long way in launching an effective partnership between the two countries in the monumental battle against the scourge of corruption.
She reminded the British Prime Minister that in a case such as the claims made in the Global Witness Report, both the giver and the recipient must face the same processes of interrogation, adding that this was the only way to bring to a halt the global endemic of corrupt practices that ensnare billions of the world’s people in abject poverty.

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