Sunday, June 22, 2008

SA govt denies foiling German probe into arms deal

The Justice Ministry has dismissed reports that it frustrated German investigations of corruption into the arms deal.

Earlier this week, the public prosecutor in Germany closed the investigation after it found no evidence of corruption. However, the South African government says it has not been officially informed of this decision.

The deal to buy new arms for both the navy and the air force has been mired in controversy for years. In 2006, German authorities initiated bribery investigations into the ThyssenKrupp group - part of a consortium that won the tender to supply ships to South Africa. Government was asked to assist in the investigations.

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille, who has been at the forefront of the onslaught, alleged that high ranking politicians - including the highest office in the land - had benefited illegally from the deal. She insists the closure of the German investigation is not the end of the matter.

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