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General News Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Joe Ghartey's Statement on Wiikileaks

PRESS RELEASE 19TH SEPTEMBER 2011

My attention has been drawn to some comments on two meetings I had with officials of the US Embassy whilst in office as Attorney-General. The meeting which referred to the judges was at my instance and the purpose was to get technical expertise for voice authentication as part of general international cooperation to fight crime. The technical expertise was to be paid for by the Government of Ghana. At the time there were two matters that were being investigated which had recordings of some voices as very material evidence. Ghana did not have the capacity to undertake the kind of voice authentication that we required. One matter involved a judge and the other narcotics. The matter involving the judge was first aired by Adakabre Frimpong Manso, who was then at Hot FM. He played a recording of a voice which was alleged to be the voice of a Circuit Court judge stationed in the Ashanti Region, demanding a bribe from some other persons. This came to the attention of the AG’s Office who requested for the tape and after listening to the tape we came to the conclusion that it raised several questions and warranted further investigation.

The matter was referred to the police and they were requested to arrest the judge and commence investigation. Unfortunately the judge died before investigations could be completed. The judge was therefore never prosecuted. I have not mentioned the name of the judge out of respect for the dead. In any event he was not prosecuted before he passed away and was not convicted. This matter at all times was no secret and was already in the public domain before my request for technical expertise; the tape first having being played on Hot FM. Anyone who wants to authenticate these facts may contact Adakabre Frimpong Manso or the Ghana Police Service. The other recording which led us to request for technical expertise for voice authentication was the recording where the missing M V Benjamin cocaine was being discussed. The US did not provide the technical expertise and we got this expertise from other sources. This meeting was at my instance.

The first meeting which was a dinner was not held at my instance. I attended this dinner with other high ranking members of the Attorney-General’s Department. The matters that we discussed were all related to my mandate. This included; reforms in the ministry, narcotics, extradition issues, corruption and human rights. The comment of the US Ambassador as stated in the cable was that she was expecting me to talk about frustrations in the AG’s Office. Unfortunately it has never been my style to run down my country; or the AGs Office and the Ministry of Justice or any other politically active person from my party or from any other party in the circumstances I found myself.

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With regard to matters relating to Kofi Boakye of the Ghana Police Service evidence available to me at the time led me to take the decision I took. I was not influenced by any other consideration including the allegation that perhaps the gentleman Kofi Boakye had some information on some high ranking members of the then government. Thankfully Kofi Boakye is still in the Ghana Police Service. The NPP is not in power and the President has stated that he is will reopen the investigation of the MV Benjamin Cocaine Case.

.....Signed.....

Hon. Joe Ghartey, MP.

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