Acres responds to appeal verdict in Lesotho trial

Acres International Inc

August 18, 2003

Oakville, Ont., August 18, 2003: Acres International said today that it was extremely disappointed that the Appeal Court in Lesotho overturned only one of the two counts that were the subject of its appeal of the trial judge’s verdict.

Acres is a consulting planning and engineering firm that employs about 800 engineers, scientists and economists specializing in services to the electric power industry, and to owners and developers of major infrastructure. Shares in the firm are widely held by more than 300 current and retired employees. All of us are shocked and dismayed at the events that have unfolded in Lesotho after the completion of Acres role in contributing substantially to the success of Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

The verdict is based entirely on circumstantial evidence. We have not found any evidence from our internal investigation and no evidence was presented in court that any of our employees knew of or authorized any of the secret payments made by our independent representative to the chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. In fact, we had no motive for requesting any payments and did not receive any benefits from them.

Our company has always been committed to the highest standards of integrity. We are deeply troubled to be associated with a highly publicized and politically charged scandal. In keeping with our long-standing commitment to business integrity and our support for world-wide anti-corruption initiatives, we have upgraded our previously established corporate integrity programs into a comprehensive Business Integrity Management System.

This “best practices” system includes new processes and internal safeguards and was implemented with the support of major Canadian and U.S. law firms that specialize in corporate business ethics and anti-corruption initiatives.

By implementing these measures, we are determined to safeguard our company and put our Lesotho experience behind us. We will continue to conduct our business to the highest standards of integrity and honesty.

CONTACT, For further information:

George Soteroff, Spokesman for Acres
1-416-598-0055, ext. 226
E-mail: george.soteroff@gpcinternational.com

Categories: Lesotho, Odious Debts

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