Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | October 13, 2009
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Resignations follow Mabey saga
MABEY & Johnson's admission in a British court to have conspired with corrupt officials in Ghana and Jamaica between 1993 and 2001 has resulted in two ministerial casualties in the West African country.

Ghana's Health Minister George Sipa-Adja Yankey and Seidu Amadu, minister of state in the presidency, quit last Friday pending a government probe into allegations that they took bribes from the bridge-building company.

Locally, government member Joseph Hibbert, who represents East Rural St Andrew, resigned as state minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works after he was implicated in the bribery allegations.

Hibbert has said he is innocent of wrongdoing but it did not prevent Contractor General Greg Christie from conducting a special probe into his role in helping Mabey & Johnson's get bridge contracts in Jamaica.

Report for parliament

Christie's report has been sent to the director of public prosecutions and the commissioner of police. It is due to be tabled in Parliament today.

Mabey & Johnson, which makes steel bridges, was fined 3.5 million last month for breaching United Nations sanctions against Iraq and bribing foreign officials and became the first company to be convicted in Britain for corruption overseas.

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said that Hibbert has admitted to taking money, but has protested his innocence.

"What Joe communicated to me was that whatever payments he received from Mabey & Johnson related to expenses that were incurred on a number of occasions when he would travel to England to go and inspect bridge material and bridge designs and the various things that were going to be supplied to Jamaica. He indicated that whatever monies he received were nowhere near what is being alleged," Golding has said recently.

Mabey & Johnson said it inappropriately paid the embattled government MP more than 100,000.

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