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04.11.2004 General News

Tsikata maintains innocence

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Accra, Nov. 4, GNA - Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, a Lawyer and Former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has again stated that he was never at any meeting at the Gondar Barracks in July 1982, at which it was reported that the three Judges and the retired Army Officer had been killed.

Mr Tsikata, who cross-examined Mr Justice George Aikins, Attorney General at the time of the murders in 1982, during the public hearings of the National Reconciliation Commission said: "I gave evidence on oath and in public before the NRC. As in my written statement, I made it clear that I was never at any such meeting where Amartey Kwei came to talk about the Judges and the Army Officer having been 'finished'. "I also stated clearly that neither on the 1st of July 1982 nor 2nd July 1982 was I at any meeting at Gondar Barracks as Mr Aikins had claimed. If he was at such meeting, I was not."

Mr Tsikata was speaking at a press conference in Accra to react to publications, which some media houses claim to be extracts from the NRC Report, which is yet to be officially released.

Mr Tsikata said there were inconsistencies in Mr Aikins' written statement and oral evidence in public. He said the Commission was not entitled to conclude that he (Mr Tsikata) was in "such a meeting to suit their prejudices".

He said Mr Aikins admitted there had been changes in his story, but when he sought to question him further with a view to showing that his evidence in camera was inconsistent with his evidence in public, he was prevented by the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Justice Kweku Etru Amua-Sekyi without consultation with the other members of the Commission.

Mr Tsikata said if the Commission was really interested in establishing the truth, nothing prevented it from also hearing in camera the portion of his (Mr Tsikata's) cross-examination that concerned evidence previously heard in camera instead of simply refusing him access to the proceedings heard in camera.

Mr Tsikata alleged that the leakage of excerpts of the NRC Report in the media "is intended for vindictive personal purposes and for partisan electoral propaganda.

"It is certainly not intended for the purposes of national reconciliation or for truth-seeking", Mr Tsikata said. "They can selectively publish excerpts to serve their political objectives and to generate hatred against targeted individuals," he said.

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