More Info on Powered Corp Deal Corruption Denial: Legal Action Threatened

I skipped by this article earlier because it looked like the same info that came out on NewsYemen. However, there is some new information here, most notably a threat by Jalal Alghani to defend himself and “prosecute the abusers through the American and Yemeni law”…hah, maybe in Yemeni law. The source also questions why Jalal Alghani is being singled out and not the American or Gulf partners – I guess he didn’t read my earlier post. 

Nuclear deal not corrupt, says informed source

Written By: Zaid al-Alaya’a
Article Date: Oct 8, 2007 – 2:07:19 PM

A high-ranking official in the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claims that the nuclear deal between the government and the US-based Powered Corporation has been misrepresented by the Yemeni press.

“What has been said in the press about the deal between the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and the Powered Corporation is not true and is full of misleading information,” said a high-ranking source in the Ministry Electricity and Energy. “There are people in the government who do not want to see nuclear power working in Yemen because it will make corruption more difficult to get away with.”

“The agreement was signed with the principles of cooperation and is aimed at generating 5,000 megawatts of electricity at an economically competitive rate,” said the source.

He also said that the agreement would not come into effect until the Cabinet approves it, and it does not include any obligations on the Republic of Yemen other than participating in a feasibility study.

“The study will look at the economic and environmental issues, such as the environmental impact of the nuclear plants and ways to make it safer and more efficient,” he said. “What is being said in some forums and newspapers is purely dramatic imagination, as if they were interested in making up headlines rather than transmitting facts.”

The source said that talk of a $15 billion deal is false because “the deal has not agreed to any specific amounts of money because it will be established through the feasibility study.”

“Those who create the stories published on the subject have no idea about the legal foundations of investment in the Republic of Yemen,” he said.

Conventions, principles, or memorandums of understanding are signed first by a government authority, but must then be approved by the Council of Ministers in order to become effective, he said. “Conventions of an executive nature require Cabinet approval and some may ask for the approval of the Supreme Committee of tenders.”

“With regard to nuclear power, the executive agreements, which will be established in the future, will pass on all legal parties, including the Houses of Parliament and the Cabinet before their approval,” the source said.The source confirmed that there has been no meeting or prior contact between the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and Powered Corporation, despite claims that the Minister of Electricity and Energy and a partner in the Powered Corporation, Jalal Alghani went to school together at the University of Oklahoma. “Journalists should go and confirm this from the student affairs department of the university,” said the source.Powered Corporation is a company originally founded to invest in the field of energy in general and nuclear energy in particular. It focuses on the Middle East and Yemen in particular because Alghani is a Yemeni-American, the source said. The primary question is whether the Powered Corporation can provide the required funding that will be determined by the feasibility study so as to produce electricity economically, he said. “If the company is able to do that, ok, but if it cannot the agreement with them will be canceled, as happens in any other project of electricity to non-nuclear energy sources.”

“Regarding the personal attack on Jalal Alghani, he and his company are interested in defending themselves and will prosecute the abusers through the American and Yemeni law, said the source. “We were also surprised that they only targeted the partner of Yemeni origin and not other American and Gulf partners,” he added.

The “personal attack” on Alghani is based on information published in Powered Corporation’s company website (www.poweredcorp.com/alghani.htm).

During more than three years of negotiation, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy met with scores of investors and technicians who the company brought to the negotiating table. These negotiations took place in Sana’a, Aden, Dubai, Washington DC, Detroit, and San Diego.

In response to allegations of misdealing and corruption, the Supreme National Anti-Corruption Commission has asked Prime Minister Ali Mujawar to provide some explanation of the deal signed between the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and Powered Corporation.

The commission has urged Mujawar to clarify the situation, but it has refused to give details about any explanations because the commission’s internal bylaw prevents anyone from releasing such information.

Muneer al-Mawiri, Yemeni-American journalist, was the first to publish findings about the corporation and the signed deal. Al-Mawiri said he was initially afraid the agreement was about “burying nuclear waste in Yemen,” but now he believes it is an example of enormous corruption.

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