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General News of Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Businessman petitions government over terrorist accusations

A Ghanaian businessman, accused of being a terrorist by the media in Mali, has reported himself to the security agencies and also petitioned the government to help him clear his name.

Mr Hassan Zein says he is currently “a savaged victim of lawlessness in a country he has never visited in his entire life.”

In a petition through law firm Crown Legal Bureau, Mr Zein appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to use its good offices to take the matter up by reaching out to its Malian counterparts.

A copy of the petition delivered to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service was received by D/L/Cpl Solomon Arthur as indicated on a note of acknowledgement dated October 3, 2019.

At least one publication in the Malian press is said to have accused Mr Zein of sponsoring terrorist acts in the Francophone country where terrorist acts recently have killed many and destroyed property.

Petition

But in his petition to the foreign affairs ministry, Mr Zein said those “publications are not only false, baseless and fabricated, but also intended to tarnish his reputation” and that of Ghana.

“Those publications are too dangerous for any decent and responsible citizen to ignore, and wish that time and space will eventually wither it away,” the petition said.

“We wish to humbly implore your good office to dig deeper into these inciteful and defamatory actions leading to the loss of the reputation of our motherland and her outstanding citizen,” the petition, signed by Justice Abdulai, said.

“This is a responsible businessman, who had contributed immensely in the area of employment in Ghana.

“We are appealing to the good offices of the president of the land, security agencies, the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ghana and its Malian counterpart to handle the matter with immediate effect due to the security implications.”

Investigations

The petition added that “My client is available for investigations to ascertain the terrorist claim; it is high time we took the issue of character assassination serious, otherwise anybody can say anything to ruin a hard-earned reputation like that of my client”.

“The said fabricated stories have had a telling effect on my client emotionally, physically and business fortunes as well as dented the image of Ghana,” it further stated.

“We are pursuing this matter, through the offices of African Union, ECOWAS at the international courts, international Criminal Court (ICC) International Court of Justice and Africa to press for damages.”

Meanwhile, Mr Zein, through his lawyers, has written to one of the media organization that carried the story about his links to terrorism, demanding “immediate retraction of the defamatory story on Hassan Zein”.

In a letter dated October 2, 2019, Mr Zein’s lawyers instructed the Malian newspaper “to retract and apologies in the same medium used, the false, defamatory and fabricated story about his person with immediate effect”.