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07.07.2004 General News

Witness admits killing at NRC hearings

By GNA
Accra, July 7, GNA - Staff Sergeant Charles Anthony Apuera, who is also known as "Tarkwa Killer" on Wednesday accepted shooting one Issahaku in Tarkwa in 1982 and dumping his body in the shaft at the Fanti Mines, adding that he had sincerely regretted his actions. He also accepted dumping the body of a man, who had committed suicide in the same shaft when his team, then on security duties was called upon to assist in arresting the said man alleged to have robbed tenants of a house. He apologised to the family of Issahaku for any pain he had caused them by killing Issahaku, adding, "from the bottom of my heart I ask his family as well as the whole of Ghana for forgiveness," he added.
Staff Sergeant Apuera was testifying before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) in Accra in response to allegations of killing levelled against him by some witnesses from Tarkwa.
He said, he was a member of a platoon from the 2nd Battalion detailed to the Tarkwa Mines to provide security in 1982, adding that he had no knowledge that people called him "Tarkwa Killer" until the first time he appeared before the Commission.
The Witness said during his work at the mines the people in the area complained on several occasions of criminal activities involving the said Issahaku, deceased, adding that the platoon, coordinated by Sergeant Bawa reached a decision to shoot him whenever he was arrested.
"They even claimed that he possesses supernatural and vanishing powers and could easily disappear when his body touches a wall," he added.
Staff Sergeant Apuera said Issahaku was one day arrested and sent to the police station and that due to the various complains the platoon sent him to the mines and shot him.
He said, he shot Issahaku based on the orders of Sergeant Bawa, adding that since he was stood close to the shaft, he fell into the pit after he was shot.
The Witness said the man who committed suicide, was alleged to have entered the house to steal, adding that he locked himself up in one of the rooms, pierced his chest with a knife and inserted a plugged electric heater into his anus.
Staff Sergeant Apuera said his body was the second he threw into the pit and that apart from these two, he knew nothing about other dead bodies the Witness claimed had been thrown into the shaft.
He said he was a private soldier by then and thought little about the implications of what he did adding that he never felt happy afterwards when he thought about it.
The Witness refuted allegations that he paraded one Peter Boafo and his nephew through the streets to bid farewell before he killed them.
He also said the allegation that members of the platoon raped a woman who died in the process and was sent to the mortuary was false. Members of the Commission, who expressed their dismay about the killings that went on in Tarkwa that time advised the Witness to personally go to the family of the deceased to apologise.


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