05.07.2004 General News

Riad, Rawlings & Kwei’s Last Moments

05.07.2004 LISTEN
By Daily Dispatch

As the June 30, 1982 abduction of the three High court judges and a retired army officer enters its 23rd year, fresh pieces of evidence, which need to be further investigated are emerging, the latest is that Mr Riad Hozaifeh, a long time associate of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, allegedly videotaped the last moments of Mr Joachim Amartey Kwei before he was executed, in the presence of Naval Captain (rtd) Baffour Assasie-Gyimah.

Here is what the retired Prison Officer told the Daily Dispatch: “I was part of the Prisons Service operational team which conveyed Amartey Kwei, Dzandu and Major Otchere from the Nsawam Prisons to Ussher Fort Prisons between 12 midnight and 1 o'clock in the morning.

By the time we got there, there was a team from the Castle led by Commander Assasie-Gyimah. It included a halt caste whose name I did not know at that time but can now identify as Riad, carrying a big video camera, with someone following with a battery and lights.

We (the Prisons Service Operational Team) were prevented from entering the chapel. The only one who was inside was the then Prisons Service Chaplain (name withheld). Not allowed inside were two senior Prisons officers present at that time. On the way from Nsawam to Ussher Fort, Major Otchere kept saying “…you people are sending us to be executed. Amartey Kwei and Dzandu did not have any idea.” He continued, “it was after the team had talked to Amartey Kwei that we were asked to convey them to the execution range, near John Teye Memorial School near Nsawam.

On the way, Amartey Kwei kept saying in Ga, 'it's okay, I am going to die.' Major Otchere was silent. We got to the range around 3am – present was the police execution squad led by (name withheld): a doctor from the Police Hospital (name withheld) and the office in charge of the Prisons team, (name withheld).

As they were tied to the stakes, blindfolded, a care drove up and threw lights on the grounds. Out stepped the chairman of the then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. He asked the shooting party to wait and that he wanted to talk to Amartey Kwei.

We were about 50 metres away but Rawlings then went up to Amartey Kwei for a few minutes came back and played a tape recording to us. On the tape, we heard Amartey saying in English that it's okay, he is prepared to die. He said he had nothing in the world and would want Rawlings to give his pregnant wife one estate house.

The order was give and Amartey Quaye shouted in Ga 'ow, my father'. When the team went round, the Police Hospital doctor certified all were dead except Amartey Kwei. The head of the Police team pulled out his pistol and shot him.”

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