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General News Sun, 3 Nov 2002

President Kufuor to decide Coleman's Fate

Grace Coleman, the deputy minister of finance, who has been charged in the US, with forcing an illegal immigrant to work as a house slave (READ) is said to be "lying low" in Accra, but doesn’t have any intention of resigning her position. She was away in South Africa when the story broke, but has not made any public statement about her indictment since her arrival. According to a reliable source, president Kufuor, on his return from China, will determine her fate.

Ms. Coleman has protested her innocence to some friends and colleagues in private. She said, the girl at the center of the controversy was just scandalizing her daughter and herself in order to be allowed residence in the US (i.e. green card). According to her, the US Government attorneys had tried to get her daughter and her husband to plea bargain, but they refused and insisted on fighting the case. She believes that’s the reason the attorneys dragged her into the indictment in order to increase the collateral damage.

The Deputy Minister has, however, been quiet on the accusation that she conspired to falsify documents, and lied to U.S. and Ghanaian Embassy officials to obtain a visa. A reliable source claims a protest note has been sent to the Ghana government and is currently on the desk of the foreign minister, who is also in China.

Despite saying she plans to fight the case, the minister has no plans of going anywhere close to the US for fear of arrest. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division brought the charges after a lengthy joint investigation. Mrs. Coleman could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if found guilty.

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Source: DeepThroat@theCastle/McKinley
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