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General News Tue, 31 Oct 2006

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Gov't Will Take Decision On JJ, When ...

... satisfied with intelligence information
... meanwhile, we'll give him 'close marking'

Accra, Oct. 31, GNA - Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Information and National Orientation, on Tuesday said the government would take a decision on ex-President Jerry John Rawlings when it became satisfied with the intelligence information gathered on his reports of his bid to stage a coup.

He said it would not be wise to disclose security information to the public and that the decision as to whether the ex-President should be arrested and prosecuted would be done when necessary.

For now, however, government would just give him 'close marking', Mr Bartels said at a press conference to react to some statements the ex-President made last Thursday when he reacted to accusations by President John Agyekum Kufuor that he had allegedly been soliciting funds from an oil rich country to stage a coup in Ghana.

"When you have a man with the kind of history Mr Rawlings is made of, you don't play with him, rather you give him close marking."

He said the conference was unique because it was the first time the New Patriotic Party had decided to respond to the many effusions of the former President which had come to be known as "boom speeches".

Some of the statements that Mr Bartels reacted to included whether ex-president Rawlings was planning a coup, whether President Kufuor was being whitewashed by the West, alleged complaints of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about the conduct of the judiciary in Ghana as well as allegation of corruption and cocaine scandals.

Mr Bartels said ex-President Rawlings was expected to deny that he was planning a coup and it would have been strange if he actually admitted it.

"Ex-President Rawlings is known in this country as a serial coup-maker involved in three coups, one of which failed...but we all have the history of Rawlings' second coming which brought in the PNDC era to guide us."

He said nobody in Ghana who had the experience of ex-President Rawlings from 1979 to date and had even made a cursory study of Ghana's history would make the mistake that given the chance the ex-president would not organize another coup.

Part of the problem between the ex-President and President Kufuor started soon after he handed over in 2001 and he and his wife went to Switzerland and instructed the Ambassador to release 30,000 dollars for her treatment which the Ambassador politely refused.

Touching on the other allegations, he said it was not US President George Bush and UN Prime Minister Tony Blair alone who held President Kufuor in high esteem but that most world leaders admired him for his ability to turn Ghana's economy around, respect for human rights and the rule of law, among other things.

He said it was strange that ex-president Rawlings could think that the government could control CNN and the BBC and other foreign media, adding that government remained committed to freedom of speech, expression and independence of the media and did not even control Ghana's state media.

He said this was in contrast to what happened during the PNDC and NDC eras when the media was controlled and gagged by subtle methods and journalists were detained.

On cocaine Mr Bartels said under the administration of the former President, the US 1999 report on narcotics said 300 cases of illicit drugs, including cocaine had gone unpunished between 1994 and 1999 in Ghana.

He said it was unfortunate that ex-President Rawlings was trying to bring Mr Annan into partisan politics in Ghana and asked the public should ignore those remarks.

Mr Bartels said the Armed Forces had appealed to the ex-President to stop drawing them into politics when he had a problem with the government.

Mr Bartels said at the conference, during which slides of atrocities committed during the PNDC era were shown, that there had been no kangaroo courts and political detainees in Ghana's prisons, adding that 146 people went missing or were murdered during the PNDC era. In an answer to a question as to whether those slides undermined the national reconciliation process, Mrs Gloria Akuffo, Aviation Minister, said "it was important to remind ourselves of where we came from in order not to repeat those mistakes as we move forward".


... satisfied with intelligence information
... meanwhile, we'll give him 'close marking'

Accra, Oct. 31, GNA - Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Information and National Orientation, on Tuesday said the government would take a decision on ex-President Jerry John Rawlings when it became satisfied with the intelligence information gathered on his reports of his bid to stage a coup.

He said it would not be wise to disclose security information to the public and that the decision as to whether the ex-President should be arrested and prosecuted would be done when necessary.

For now, however, government would just give him 'close marking', Mr Bartels said at a press conference to react to some statements the ex-President made last Thursday when he reacted to accusations by President John Agyekum Kufuor that he had allegedly been soliciting funds from an oil rich country to stage a coup in Ghana.

"When you have a man with the kind of history Mr Rawlings is made of, you don't play with him, rather you give him close marking."

He said the conference was unique because it was the first time the New Patriotic Party had decided to respond to the many effusions of the former President which had come to be known as "boom speeches".

Some of the statements that Mr Bartels reacted to included whether ex-president Rawlings was planning a coup, whether President Kufuor was being whitewashed by the West, alleged complaints of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about the conduct of the judiciary in Ghana as well as allegation of corruption and cocaine scandals.

Mr Bartels said ex-President Rawlings was expected to deny that he was planning a coup and it would have been strange if he actually admitted it.

"Ex-President Rawlings is known in this country as a serial coup-maker involved in three coups, one of which failed...but we all have the history of Rawlings' second coming which brought in the PNDC era to guide us."

He said nobody in Ghana who had the experience of ex-President Rawlings from 1979 to date and had even made a cursory study of Ghana's history would make the mistake that given the chance the ex-president would not organize another coup.

Part of the problem between the ex-President and President Kufuor started soon after he handed over in 2001 and he and his wife went to Switzerland and instructed the Ambassador to release 30,000 dollars for her treatment which the Ambassador politely refused.

Touching on the other allegations, he said it was not US President George Bush and UN Prime Minister Tony Blair alone who held President Kufuor in high esteem but that most world leaders admired him for his ability to turn Ghana's economy around, respect for human rights and the rule of law, among other things.

He said it was strange that ex-president Rawlings could think that the government could control CNN and the BBC and other foreign media, adding that government remained committed to freedom of speech, expression and independence of the media and did not even control Ghana's state media.

He said this was in contrast to what happened during the PNDC and NDC eras when the media was controlled and gagged by subtle methods and journalists were detained.

On cocaine Mr Bartels said under the administration of the former President, the US 1999 report on narcotics said 300 cases of illicit drugs, including cocaine had gone unpunished between 1994 and 1999 in Ghana.

He said it was unfortunate that ex-President Rawlings was trying to bring Mr Annan into partisan politics in Ghana and asked the public should ignore those remarks.

Mr Bartels said the Armed Forces had appealed to the ex-President to stop drawing them into politics when he had a problem with the government.

Mr Bartels said at the conference, during which slides of atrocities committed during the PNDC era were shown, that there had been no kangaroo courts and political detainees in Ghana's prisons, adding that 146 people went missing or were murdered during the PNDC era. In an answer to a question as to whether those slides undermined the national reconciliation process, Mrs Gloria Akuffo, Aviation Minister, said "it was important to remind ourselves of where we came from in order not to repeat those mistakes as we move forward".


Source: GNA

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