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Former TOR boss still faces US extradition despite winning part of UK appeal

A former Ghanaian banker with Goldman Sachs has won part of an appeal his attorneys filed in an attempt to prevent his extradition to the United States, according to Reuters.

Asante Berko, who was previously the Managing Director of the state-owned Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), is wanted in the United States for allegedly paying bribes to Ghanaian officials. He is accused of colluding with two Ghanaian officials and four others in an alleged bribery scheme.

Despite winning part of his appeal in the UK on Friday, June 7, Reuters reports that Asante Berko is still facing extradition to the United States. He was charged with six offences in New York in 2020 related to his tenure at Goldman Sachs.

In May of this year, the UK High Court decided to extradite Asante Berko to the United States, but his attorneys filed an appeal, claiming that their client could not be extradited due to three of the allegations.

According to the indictment documents, Asante Berko was charged with willfully neglecting to file reports of foreign bank accounts in the United States, but his lawyers contend that this is not a criminal offence in the United Kingdom.

Berko’s lawyers also contended that his alleged crime might have occurred in Britain or Ghana, so he should not be tried in the United States.

However, presiding Judge Charles Bourne ruled on Friday, June 7, 2024, that Asante Berko should not be extradited to the US to face the three charges of failing to file reports of foreign bank accounts.

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The judge explained that Asante Berko would be at risk of “being convicted and imprisoned for conduct which would not amount to an offense in this country [UK].”

Despite this ruling, Judge Charles Bourne rejected the rest of Asante Berko’s appeal, meaning he still faces extradition to the United States.

“Although the appellant was based in the UK at the time of the relevant conduct, the conspiracy was entirely international in nature,” Judge Charles Bourne ruled.

 

Source: Ghanaweb

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