Bahran Responds to Nuclear Deal Debacle, Says Anti-Corruption Authority Guilty of Character Assassination

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Good article from my friend Zaid. I actually like this guy Bahran. As I wrote before, Bahran doesn’t strike me as the corrupt type. Pardon the pun, but I actually think he brings much needed energy and vision to the ministry. If he’s guilty of anything it’s naïveté. I disagree that there was any character assassination going on here…There was the original charge that he was linked personally to Alghani, but that hasn’t been the focus of discussion since the news first broke, and it’s not why the deal was ultimately cancelled. The main knock to his character is that he made a bad decision in signing an agreement with an inexperienced, unqualified company run by shady characters. As such, al Anisi’s response to Bahran’s comments is appropriate.

Nevertheless, the Energy Minister’s comment about Hunt Oil corruption, a good zinger, is well taken.  

One interesting thing I saw…the new wind deal is being questioned too…uh-oh.

Electricity minister lashes out at corruption charges

Written By: Zaid al-Alaya
Article Date: Nov 6, 2007 – 1:16:18 AM

Minister of Electricity and Energy Dr. Mustafa Bahran has written to the National Supreme Anti-Corruption Authority complaining about their allegations of his corruption. He said such allegations were especially damaging because of similar, previous accusations by opposition parties.

In response to the cancellation of the nuclear deal by the NSACA and the Cabinet, Bahran claimed in the letter that his only assets are “education, a patriotic heart, and a clean family history.”  {how sweet}

“For 12 years I was the only advisor who lived in a rented flat, and now, having become Minister of Electricity and Energy, I live in a rented villa,” he said. “Suddenly, I am accused of corruption, first by the opposition then by the NSACA. Why?”

In the letter he continues his questions to the NSACA, admitting that he did sign an agreement of principle with a company certified by U.S. authorities. The agreement was conditional upon approval by the Cabinet and Parliament. The agreement specified no commitments other than the funding of the multi-million dollar project feasibility study, to be shared equally by the government and the bidding company, the Powered Corporation, if the government were to have approved it.

Bahran claims that this was all he was working on, and that his main concern was the development of electricity.He said that he was extremely surprised when he read in the official newspaper al-Thawrah about Ahmed al-Anesi, chairman of the NSACA, praising the Cabinet for canceling the deal with Powered Corp. Bahran questions what interests-locally, regionally and internationally-were behind the accusations. “With all due respect and love to your authority, how could you issue your judgment before hearing me out?” he askedthe NSACA in the letter.

“Your authority was established to fight corruption, not nuclear power and honest people in this country. I have written to your authority earlier to express my willingness at any time to respond to all your queries and present any documents that you might request,”Bahran wrote.

Bahran was granted an appointment with the authority on Saturday, November 3rd at which he questioned the basis of these accusations and whether there were minutes of the meeting signed by all members, as is standard practice. He demanded that the authority respond to the people to clarify that their mission is to protect public money, rather than to assassinate the character of honest people.

He went on to question the fuss that the authority and others had made about an agreement of principle that, in his opinion, did not need to be terminated or if so, only after thorough investigation.

“If you want to protect public money from theft, what, for example, are you going to do with the YR2 billion that was spent in the case between the Yemeni government and the Hunt Oil Company?” he asked. {KAAPOW!} He said that throughout the month of Ramadan he was busy making sure people’s homes were lit.

“If nuclear power is something that you are against, fine, I accept that this is still a controversial topic, but what is unbearable is targeting honest people,” repeated Bahran, who added that he would not have his reputation tarnished. “I was about to submit my financial disclosure to you but now I prefer to submit it to the people, announcing that I have nothing, thank God.”

Al-Anesi, the NSACA chairman, said that reacting in this way was beneath the dignity of the Electricity minister. “We sent a letter to the Cabinet telling them not to commit the country to anything in advance and we are not accusing Bahran of anything,” said al-Anesi.“The NSACA, like everybody else, read what was written in the papers about the deal and it attracted our attention. We called the stock market in the United States and asked for information on Powered Corp. and found that the company has never carried out any business in the field of building nuclear plants and its capital is only $500,000. The deal was supposed to be worth $15 billion,” he said.

According to al-Anesi, all of this information was sent to the Cabinet, which decided to cancel any deals with Powered Corp. He added that it was not in the best interest of the Minister of Electricity to further discuss the issue, as neither his post nor his name were mentioned to the Cabinet.

During a debate on nuclear power on Saturday, Abdul-Aziz Jobari, an MP and member of the ruling General People’s Congress, asked Bahran to clarify why the government terminated the deal with Powered Corp. and how much public money was spent in the initial agreement.

Jobari also asked whether the electricity ministry had information or studies on nuclear power generation and the companies that work in this field, and also asked about the accuracy of reports by certain media outlets on generating electricity by wind.

The government asked for the documents concerning the nuclear deal and cancelled the agreement with Powered Corp. last Tuesday.

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2 Responses to “Bahran Responds to Nuclear Deal Debacle, Says Anti-Corruption Authority Guilty of Character Assassination”

  1. NickBack Yemeni Says:

    “I actually like this guy Bahran.”

    I am not sure who the author is of this blog or if he actually knows Bahran personally. So, I am going to make an assumption here that you do not know much about Bahran.

    Before I start, I would like to state that I personally do not know Bahran, only some of his family in Canada. It is from this family acquaintance that I think I have a good idea of this Bahran character.

    First, he is no stupid man. If anything, he is very smart and clever. Second, he fully knew the deal was never going to be implemented, that is he knew the feasibility study, if ever conducted, was going to have a negative assessment. His plan was to try to steal as much of the Feasibility money. His assets are not in Yemen. His accounts are in Europe and Canada. He is doing what the rest of us educated Yemenis in the West are doing. Having most of his money outside of Yemen. I should know, I am doing the same. His argument about having nothing in Yemen is true. Not because he’s innocent, but because he way more smarter than the average Yemeni to leave any traces in Yemen. His family in Canada live like rich folks. They are not paid by Bahran from Yemen. They are somehow indirectly paid by some unknown government chanelled funds coming from some unknown countries.

    He is a smart man gone corrupt. He has the mental capability of stealing billions and not getting caught. He is in no way naive, as suggested by your blog.

    Peace~~

  2. Tariq Jaffery Says:

    I know I am a late comer to this site. I was just browsing around and ran into this news. I know Mustafa Bahran since we were classmates in Graduate school studying High Enrgy Physics at the University of Oklahoma. I can confidently say that Mustafa is a down to earth humble and honest man and has always been this way.
    If Mustafa runs into this message, please contact me. It has been almost 20 years since I have seen him. Here is my email: tjaffery@yahoo.com.

    Tariq Jaffery

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