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17.03.2004 General News

Justice Aikins is lying -Tsikata

Justice Aikins is lying -Tsikata
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A leading functionary in the erstwhile PNDC administration Tsatsu Tsikata has denied being present at any meeting at Gondar Barracks at which details of the murder of the three high court judges and a retired military officer was disclosed.

Mr. Tsikata who is also a former chief executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation says he could not have been 'around' as claimed by former Attorney General Justice G. E. K. Aikins because he was not at the Gondar Barracks on the day in question.

The former Attorney General had in a submission before the National Reconciliation Commission claimed that Mr. Tsikata, Captain Kojo Tsikata and others were present in a meeting with the then Chairman of the PNDC Jerry Rawlings (a day after the kidnap and murder- July 1st 1982), at which Joachim Amartei Kwei allegedly disclosed that the four persons have been 'finished'.

Captain Tsikata who was National Security Chief at the time, when he appeared before the NRC on Monday, also denied that any such meeting took place. Counsel for Captain Tsikata, Dr. Obed Asamoah during cross examination pointed out to Justice Aikins that the late Amartei Kwei had himself indicated in a statement that he was at Obuasi on the said date.

In his written statement to the commission, the former Attorney General wrote that “… the day after the kidnap and murder of the victims I happened to be at the chairman's office at Gondar Barracks on duty. A number of persons, including Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata were around. During the course of our deliberations the Chairman chipped in and said that rumours were rife at the Barracks about the kidnap of certain judges, and asked that Mr. Amartei Kwei should be sent for."

"On his arrival the Chairman told him that there were rumours of kidnap of some persons, and that these persons should be released as quickly as possible. Mr. Amartei Kwei stood there for a while and told the Chairman that they had 'finished' them, meaning they had been killed” he added.

Justice Aikins was Attorney General at the time of the murders and supervised the investigations and prosecution of persons found guilty for the murders.

Mr. Tsikata in a statement to the commission questioned Justice Aikins failure to bring out that evidence before the SIB, if indeed the incident took place, adding that “if there had been an occasion such as Justice Aikins describes, with me present, Amartei Kwei, whom I had occasion to cross-examine during the Special Investigation Board (SIB) hearings, would undoubtedly have brought it up in his very hostile and cheeky responses to me."

Tsatsu also argued that Amartey Kwei "never mentioned such a meeting involving Justice Aikins and me in any statement during interrogations or at his trial where Justice Aikins, as Attorney General, led the prosecution team.”

Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was expected to cross examine Justice Aikins at the NRC sitting was unable to do so, because of late notice giving him about the hearing.

His aide told JoyNEWS over the weekend that the NRC Executive Secretary informed Mr. Tsikata about Monday's hearing through a hearing notice sent to his house just when he was leaving to the airport on Friday March 12.

According to the aide, Tsikata was at the NRC earlier in the day but was not informed about Monday's appearance by Justice Aikins, although he demanded an opportunity to cross-examine him in his statement.

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