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29.06.2004 General News

Court orders Chris Asher's extradition

By Chronicle
Court orders Chris Asher's extradition
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An Accra High Court, presided over by Mr. Justice Asamoah has granted leave in an ex-parte application, for an order to compel the Attorney General to commence extradition proceedings against Mr. Chris Asher, a lawyer currently in exile, to face charges for murder.

Solicitors for the applicant, Myres Legal Consult, have, in pursuit of the order, filed an Application On Notice, which is slated for hearing by the court on July 14, 2004.

The application was filed on behalf of Matilda Ofori of Akim Oda, daughter of Mr. Ebenezer Ofori Katipie, who was allegedly shot to death by Asher in September 1982.

Meanwhile following an indication that Asher would be appearing before the National Reconciliation Commission (NMC) on Wednesday, June 30, the solicitors of Matila Ofori, have requested the attorney general, through a letter, to cause the arrest of Asher “in order to enable you fulfill your constitutional duty.”

The letter said if the Attorney General caused Asher's arrest “it would make it unnecessary for the motion to be moved in that our complaint would have been addressed.”

On Wednesday, Asher would come face to face with Capt Kojo Tsikata, former National Security Chief, whom the lawyer has accused of involvement in the murder of the three high court judges and a retired army major in June 1982.

Tsikata is expected to cross examine Asher on the evidence he gave at the NMC at an earlier hearing in which he implicated the retired army captain in the murders.

Asher escaped from lawful custody while serving a prison sentence for an insurance fraud and also while awaiting trial for the murder charge.

In a 15-point affidavit supporting the exparte motion, filed on June 8, 2004, the applicant said Asher was arrested shortly after the murder and charged before a district magistrate court at Akim Oda.

The accused was remanded in custody but while awaiting trial, he was convicted of an insurance fraud and sentenced to prison.

Madam Ofori said Asher murdered her father because he was investigating the insurance fraud he committed against one Auntie Rose, a client of the lawyer.

The applicant contended that her father pursued the investigation and exposed Asher because he had previously suffered the same fate in the hands of the accused person, when his Land Rover vehicle was involved in an accident.

Additionally, applicant said after shooting her father Asher took the brief case of the deceased, removed all the documents in it and returned the empty bag to one Gyempim, who sent it to the accused person's sister for safe keeping and later bolted to Agona Nsaba.

The police later arrested Asher and the gun used in committing the offence retrieved from a public latrine together with the brief case and a blood soaked smock.

Asher was charged with murder and was remanded in prison custody by the district magistrate court at Akim Oda, to await trail but he escaped from prison.

The applicant said Asher came to the country and appeared before the NRC and although the family of the victim reported the presence of the accused to the police and requested his arrest, the police refused to act.

The applicant said the police also actively prevented her when she attempted a citizen's arrest on Asher.