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21.06.2004 General News

Tsatsu Tsikata cross-examines Justice Aikins at NRC

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Accra, June 21, GNA - Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, a Lawyer, on Monday denied that he was present at a meeting at the Gondar Barracks on July 1 or 2 1982, at which the murder of the three High Court Judges and the retired Army Officer was discussed.

Mr Tsikata told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) public hearing in Accra, that the allegation by Mr Justice G. E. K. Aikins, former Attorney General, that he (Tsikata) had been at such a meeting was "absolutely false and a lie".

Mr Tsikata was giving evidence at the Commission on Monday. Mr E. A. Mingle, Head of Legal Affairs of the Commission, led him.

This was after he had cross-examined Mr Jutsice Aikins, who told the Commission that Mr Tsikata was present together with Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings then Chairman of the PNDC and Capt Kojo Tsikata, former National Security Advisor at a meeting in July 1982, at which the late Mr Amartey Kwei told them the three Judges and a retired Army Officer had been "finished".

During cross-examination, Mr Tsikata quoted Section 12 (4) of the NRC Act and challenged what he called a "unilateral decision by the Chairman, Mr Kweku Etru Amua Sekyi that he Mr Tsikata should not ask questions on evidence the Commission heard in camera.

Mr Tsikata said instead, the decision should be unanimous with the approval of all members of the Commission.

Mr Amua Sekyi had dismissed certain questions, stating that such questions had to be based on "good reasons".

Mr Justice Aikins said after checking on his records, the date of the meeting was not July 1, 1982, but rather July 2 1982, and that he did not inform the Commission.

Mr Tsikata said Mr Aikins gave the date on the day he gave evidence at the Commission on March 15 2004.

He again stated that he was never at any such meeting either on July 1 or July 2 1982, explaining that he was at Kpong for the inauguration of a Dam and then went to Ho to do a case on July 2 1982.

He raised questions on the consistency of the evidence of Mr Aikins. The Commission's Chairman asked Mr Aikins not to answer questions from Mr Tsikata on the consistency of his evidence. Mr Tsikata again said the Chairman's decision was "unilateral".

Mr Tsikata prayed the Commission to request the said records of Mr Aikins to be made available to the Commission.

He was given 30 minutes instead of the usual 15 minutes for the cross-examination and requested for extra time to continue his cross-examination but it was refused.

None of the Commissioners, apart from Maulvi Wahab Adam, put any question to Mr Tsakata.

Maulvi Adam asked Mr Tsikata where he was on July 1 and 2 1982 and Mr Tsikata replied that he had been in Kpong for the inauguration of the Kpong Dam, and at Ho to do a case on July 2 1982.

Present at the Commission were Captain Kojo Tsikata and other leading members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) including, Mr Ato Ahwoi, Mr E.T. Mensah, Mr Kwamena Ahwoi and Mr Kwesi Ahwoi and Mr Rojo Mettle Nunoo.