UPDATE 1-Liberia grand jury indicts Sable Mining, officials for bribery
(Adds comment from Sable Mining)
By James Harding Giahyue
MONROVIA May 25 (Reuters) - A grand jury in Liberia has indicted government officials, including the speaker of parliament and the head of the ruling party, along with London AIM-listed Sable Mining on charges including bribery.
In a statement released on Thursday, Sable Mining said it had noted "the recent media comment and speculation regarding allegations of bribery and corruption" made against the company in Liberia.
"The Company is investigating these matters and taking appropriate legal advice," it said.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered an inquiry into Sable's attempt to acquire an iron ore concession in northern Liberia after the watchdog group Global Witness made accusations of wrong-doing in a report earlier this month.
A grand jury in the capital Monrovia accused the defendants on Wednesday of bribery among other crimes, according to the indictment seen by Reuters.
The indictment, which covers a period including 2010 and 2011, alleged that the defendants conspired to use their positions to amend Liberia's public procurement and concessions law. It asserted that they succeeded in changing the law to give the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy the power to declare a concession area as a non-bidding area.
The indictment did not specify how Sable Mining allegedly benefited from the change to the law and Reuters was unable to independently determine if Sable actually did. Continuación...