29.07.2006 Press Release

I didn't Give Bribe To Ampewuah - Witness

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GRACE Asibi, the woman at the centre of the East Legon cocaine bribery scandal, yesterday told the committee investigating the case that she did not give any bribe to Mr Patrick Ampeawuah, the Deputy Director General of the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

But she insisted that Mr Ampeawuah threatened her with death on telephone after she had told the Daily Guide newspaper about the alleged bribery case.

Asibi, who was being cross-examined by Ellis Owusu-Fordjuor, counsel for Mr Ampeawuah, said the deputy director threatened her for exposing Superintendent Edward Tabiri in her interview with the Daily Guide.

On the validity of the tape recording with a male voice issuing out threats to Asibi, counsel contended that the voice was not that of Mr Ampeawuah claiming that the voice probably belonged to another drug dealer who was threatening her.

Asibi, however, dismissed that assertion, maintaining that no drug dealer would talk to her about Supt. Tabiri being exposed.

She could however not produce the phone number she claimed Mr Ampeawuah used as required by counsel explaining that she could not remember the number and that she was so scared with the threat that she stopped using that number.

She claimed giving the chip to a sister who also could not provide the number when the committee allowed her (Asibi) to call that sister.

Asibi, however, promised to produce the number at the next sitting on Monday.

Meanwhile, the committee, chaired by Mrs Justice Georgina Wood, is exploring the possibilities of sending the recorded tapes for a voice analyzing test.

The tapes were transcribed at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday.

At the committee's sitting on Thursday, the chairperson Mrs Wood, appealed to the press to refrain from publishing the pictures of people appearing before the committee to testify, reports Francis Asmoah Tuffour.

She explained that the committee is not a court but a fact-finding one whose formal report will be made to the Ministry of Interior under whose jurisdiction the committee was formed.

She said none of those who appeared was a suspect or a culprit and the publication of their pictures could create a wrong impression in the minds of the public.

Mrs Wood said the integrity and image of those who appeared at the committee need to be protected.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Tabiri told the committee that he had received 47 death threats from some people following the publication of his picture in some media.

"I wept yesterday when I got home and my children asked me what I had done because they heard my name and air and saw my picture in the papers," he told the committee.

Mr Kwaku Duah, a member of the committee, said the rationale for inviting the press to the committee's sitting was to ensure transparency in its work adding "the people need to be protected."

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