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14.03.2006 General News

Transfer of Convicted Persons Bill to go before Parliament this year

By GNA

Accra, March 14, GNA - Cabinet has approved the Transfer of Convicted Persons Bill to be introduced to Parliament during its current sitting to effect an amendment to the domestic law permitting persons convicted outside Ghanaian jurisdiction to serve their sentences in Ghana. The introduction, which has been pending for over 10 years, according to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was of concern to a lot of people and was meant to ensure that Ghanaians arrested, tried and sentenced abroad could be sent back home to serve their jail terms.

Nana Akufo-Addo, who was speaking on Tuesday during his turn at the Meet the Press Series in Accra, said that work had progressed towards reaching an agreement for the exchange of prisoners between Ghana and Thailand. He said Ghana currently had 70 prisoners, eight of whom are females, in Thai prisons serving various jail terms for drug offences. Nana Akufo-Addo said discussions had taken place between Ghanaian and Thai authorities, stressing that at the recent Africa-Asia Summit in Jakarta President John Agyekum Kufuor and the Prime Minister of Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra instructed their Foreign Ministers to expedite action on the matter.

When asked what form of assistance was being offered Mr Eric Amoateng, the Ghanaian MP arrested for his alleged involvement in a narcotic case in New York, he said Ghana's mission in New York had twice visited him since the case began. The Foreign Minister said the Ministry had been engaged in providing consular assistance to Ghanaians pursuing claims against foreign missions in Ghana and also against foreign persons in countries where Ghana had diplomatic relations.

"The Ministry is committed to improving the delivery of its consular and legal services in an efficient and effective manner. Consequently it has set up customer friendly and high quality services in the visa and passport processing area. "We are also ensuring the provision of timely travel advisory services and an active engagement with Ghanaians resident abroad to facilitate their greater participation in the domestic economy."

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