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08.02.2006 General News

"I was the author of publications about Dr Anane" - Archer

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Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - The Editor-in-Chief of "The Enquirer" newspaper on Wednesday told the Investigative Panel of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that he was the author of a number of stories in "The Chronicle" and "The Enquirer" newspapers alleging conflict of interest by Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport.

Mr Raymond Archer the Editor-in- Chief made this admission when Dr P.E. Bondzie-Simpson, Counsel for the Commission, tendered the stories in evidence through him at the ongoing public hearing into certain allegations against Dr Anane.

The Commission is investigating the Minister over three allegations - corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of office.

There were eight publications in all, six in "The Chronicle" and two in "The Enquirer". Some of the captions read: "Bonking for my Country"; "Dr Anane's Nomination Fever"; "Parliament Grounds Three"; "Anane's Kangaroo Sponsors" and "Anane's Nine Billion Cedis Cover". Dr Bondzie-Simpson told the panel that since he was going to cross-examine Mr Archer on those publications, it was fitting and proper for him to first make sure Mr Archer admitted their authorship before questions could be put to him on the stories.

Earlier, Mr Archer, the Commission's first witness, apologised to the Panel for his inability to attend Tuesday's sitting because he was indisposed.

Thereafter, he submitted to the Panel a statement he was requested to submit.

Mr Peter Zwennes, Counsel for Dr Anane, in a preliminary application, objected to the Commission's decision to look into the allegations levelled against Dr Anane.

He submitted that since there was no formal complaint lodged with the Commission, there was no need for the Commission to arrogate to itself the power to investigate those allegations.

Replying, Counsel for the Commission submitted that since it was an investigative body, CHRAJ could still go into the matter, even in the absence of a complainant.

The Panel deferred ruling on the matter and asked Counsel for Dr Anane to put his submission in writing on Friday, February 10. The Commission's Counsel would have up to Tuesday, February 14 to respond. Before proceedings were adjourned to Thursday, Dr Anane informed the Panel that he would not be available on Thursday and Friday. He said he would be attending Cabinet meeting on Thursday and be in Parliament on Friday to answer questions on the floor of the House.