Monrovia — On Wednesday, Liberia’s justice minister announced that he would step aside from a probe into a contested oil deal, as he used to be head of the country’s national oil company. Frank Musa Dean had been appointed to head the probe just six days earlier by Liberia’s newly elected president, George Weah, who has vowed to crack down on corruption. In a statement, Dean said he had decided to step aside from the probe — initiated by an undercover investigation by the NGO Global Witness — in the interests of transparency. "The decision to recuse myself is based on the fact that I served as president and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) between 2004 and January 2006," he said. The controversy stems from a deal in 2013, when US oil major ExxonMobil paid $68.5m (€55.73m) for a licence to exploit a Liberian oilfield called Block 13. It bought Block 13 from a company called Broadway Consolidated/Peppercoast (BCP), which had initially been awarded the licence from No...

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