THE National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) has formally invited former President Jerry John Rawlings to respond to allegations of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by him or perpetrated at his command.
The letter of invitation, dated May 27, 2003, was sent to him through his lawyers, Kumbuor and Associates. The commission has given the former President up to June 6, 2003, to respond to the letter of invitation.
Ms Annie Anipa, Director of Public Affairs of the NRC, who confirmed this in an interview, said copies of the transcript of the evidence and the written statement of ex-Corporal Matthew Adabuga were attached to the letter of invitation.
She said the former President is requested in the letter to go to the commission to make a statement, following which the NRC will afford him the opportunity to tell his side of the story and cross-examine Cpl Adabuga. Ms Anipa said a date will be fixed for the cross-examination upon the commission's receipt of his response and statement.
One of the architects of the December 31, 1981 coup d’etat, ex-Corporal Adabuga, last Thursday told the commission that the Chairman of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Flt Lt J. J. Rawlings, ordered the killing of the three High Court judges and a retired military officer in 1982.
He said Flt Lt Rawlings also took champagne from a refrigerator in their office to drink when the news of the murder of the judges and the retired military officer was broken to him.
Cpl Adabuga said he was in the office with Capt ((rtd)) Kojo Tsikata, Sgt Akata Pore and Flt Lt Rawlings, when Mr Amartey Kwei came to inform them that they had finished the assignment on the judges.
He said Flt Lt Rawlings and Capt Tsikata also directed Amedeka and his colleagues to burn the smocks they used in the operation at Bundase to eliminate all traces.
However, a legal team of the former President, led by Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, organised a press conference to deny all the allegations levelled against Flt Lt Rawlings.