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05.04.2006 General News

Minister's Mistress To Give Evidence Via Video

By Daily Graphic
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Ms. Alexandria O'Brien, the lady at the centre of allegations of corruption, abuse of power and misuse of office against the Minister for Road Transport, Dr. Richard Anane will not appear in person to give evidence at the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) tomorrow.

She will give her evidence via video-conferencing and in camera.

Sources at CHRAJ, who would not disclose the reasons why Ms. O'Brien could not come to Ghana to give her evidence at the commission, added that Dr. Anane's lawyers had made an application in camera.

The sources said the panel members of the commission, which comprised the acting commissioner, Mrs. Anna Bossman, the deputy commissioner in charge of Public Education and Anti-corruption, Mr. Richard Quayson, and the director in charge of Legal and Investigations, Ms. Abena Bonsu, would decide tomorrow whether to let the public and the media stay in the chamber and listen to Ms. O'Brien's evidence through video-conferencing or make it an in camera hearing.

The CHRAJ is conducting public hearing into the allegations made in newspaper publication against the minister. The public hearings are part of ongoing investigations which the commission is carrying out into the matter. The period under investigation is 2001 to 2004 when Dr. Anane was the Minister for Health and also Roads and Transport. National security, reason for O'Brien's in-camera hearing Joy Online -- The woman considered as a star witness in the corruption allegation against the Road Transport Minister has opted to give her evidence via video conferencing.

Alexandra O'Brien was expected in Ghana to give her testimony in person, but JOY News investigations suggests that her evidence will now be given from her bases in the United States.

JOY News can confirm that persons close to Dr Anane have initiated moves for Ms O'Brien to testify in a closed session, away from the media and the public's attention.

JOY News sources say an application is being considered for the hearing to be heard in camera.

Ms O'Brien is set to testify via video conferencing, but not before legal matters are addressed.

Information reaching JOY News indicates that the request of those close to Dr. Richard Anane is for the media to be kept out of Wednesday's hearing.

Lawyers for the Minister are likely to ask the Human Right Commission to hear Ms. O'Brien's testimony in camera.

The reasons ascribed for this consideration include that of national security and the Minister's right to privacy.

According to JOY News sources, Alexandra O'Brien's testimony may have security implications.

It may also touch on what allies of Dr. Anane consider to be sensitive personal information.

However, sources close to the Human Rights Commission say this application if made, will be critically assessed on its merit.

They are unable to say how three-member panel led by acting commission chairman Anna Bossman will rule on the matter if it were raised tomorrow.

JOY News is unable to say whether the media will be kept out or allowed to report on the matter.

But if last Thursday's experience is anything to go by, then the curious Ghanaian media will be disappointed today (Wednesday).

The media was last Thursday prevented from reporting on Raymond Archer's re-examination on matters the commission said bothered on security and Ghana's relationship with big brother- America.