November 28, 2020

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Ghana Denies Interfering in Gold Fund Probe After Official Quits

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A worker carries a 28 kilogram gold bar after casting and cleaning in the foundry at the South Deep gold mine, operated by Gold Fields Ltd., in Westonaria, South Africa, on Thursday, March 9, 2017. South Deep is the world's largest gold deposit after Grasberg in Indonesia, makes up 60 percent of the company's reserves and the miner says it's capable of producing for 70 years. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Ghana’s government has denied interfering in a probe into the creation of a gold-royalties fund following the resignation of the special prosecutor who led the investigation.

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu resigned on Nov. 16, citing interference following the conclusion of a corruption-risk assessment into the state’s new fund. His office’s report challenged the government’s choice of advisers and the mode of valuation for the fund, which had its $500-million initial public offering suspended last month.

“Neither the President nor any member of his government has interfered or sought to interfere” with the work of the special prosecutor, the office of President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a statement late Tuesday.

The gold-royalty fund has become an election issue as the continent’s top gold producer prepares for Dec. 7 polls. While Akufo-Addo’s administration had sought to speed up the share sale to take advantage of record gold prices, John Mahama, his predecessor and main challenger in the vote, has vowed to reverse the deal if he wins back power.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.