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General News | Jul 1, 2004

Chris Asher Flees

Chronicle
Chris Asher Flees

....After dramatic performance at the NRC LITTLE DID the anxious audience at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) yesterday know that Chris Asher had been whisked away through the back door after being discharged from the witness box until the heavy security presence in the premises began to diminish.

The family members of the late Ebenezer Ofori Katipie, whom Asher had been accused of murdering, had thronged the premises of the NRC, hoping to see the police effect Mr. Asher's arrest.

To the disappointment of the family members and other sympathizers, no arrest was made, in spite of an order issued by an Accra High Court to compel the Attorney General to initiate action for the extradition of Asher to stand trial on murder charges leveled against him.

Asher, an English scholar and a lawyer, who was at the commission to be cross-examined by Captain Kojo Tsikata, former National Security Chief, was under a heavy security protection, before, during and after the cross-examination.

Asher told the commission in his preliminary remarks: “My lord, I may be overruled by my objections, but I want to make clear is that the man, (referring to Tsikata) seated over there, is not a captain because his rank had been stripped off and he was thrown out of the army and that was why in my earlier appearance, I did not refer to him as captain; I only called him Kojo Tsikata.”

In almost an hour of cross-examination, the witness dismissed the assertions that his earlier testimony at the NRC was a concocted and fabricated story to impugn the image of Kojo Tsikata.

“Dr. Obed Asamoah (counsel for Tsikata), I know you as a brilliant lawyer, I hope you have not been contaminated by the man sitting by you. If I have concocted all that I said, then I am a brilliant man,” he said.

The witness continued, “You cannot disagree with what somebody told me which I told the commission. You can disagree with what I say; that is your opinion because you were not in the prison with me and you were not with me when I met them.”

Describing the security intelligence under Captain Tsikata as “useless,” Asher noted: “They called me international con man.Yes, I conned his security men because they were completely useless.”

Sounding biblical, he said: “The Acts of the Apostles, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John gave different accounts about what happened to Jesus Christ, but we all agree with them, therefore, you cannot disagree with me on what Cpl. Alidu Gyiwah and others told me. I took a calculated risk to do that.

What kind of fertile imagination is that?”

In response to a question by Dr. Asamoah, the witness reiterated that there was jubilation when Amarte Kwei reported to the chairman of the defunct PNDC, Flt Lt. Jerry Rawlings, that they had finished the job, adding that at that time, Kojo Tsikata sang a song in praise of the revolution.

When his attention was drawn to inaccuracies in his testimony to the commission, he said, “I believe there must be historical inaccuracies that I made; even in the Bible, there were historical inaccuracies that the Bible authenticated.”

Asked to explain what he meant by “swift action” taken by Supt. Yidana, resulting in the arrest of Amedeka and others, Asher replied, “ Dr. Asamoah, I think you have lost your former brilliant performance that I know of. Everybody knows that it was a notorious fact that Yidana was asked to investigate the circumstances surrounding the abduction and the murder of the three high court judges and the retired army officer.”

According to him, Amedeka was bewilded by the way the former President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, went on air to denounce the murder of the judges, adding, “Amedeka who likes the former President and dislikes Captain Kojo Tsikata, will soon be heard.”

Asher asked Dr. Asamoah, his former law lecturer, to give him a break when he was bombarded with questions relating to how Cpl.Gyiwah had information from Captain Tsikata requesting that Amedeka and others to transfer the kidnapped judges and the retired army officer from the Achimota forest to Bundase.

“Give me a break; are you living in ancient times? You are losing your memory. If you again claim that all that I am saying were manufactured stories, then I am a brilliant man who needs to be commended.”

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