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General News of Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Source: jfm

Clemency for Ghanaian on death roll in Libya

The family of Isaac Oppong, a Ghanaian said to have been murdered in Libya by five of his compatriots, has granted a plea for clemency for the only surviving member of the killers.

Clemency is crucial in sparing the life of Kwabena Kankam who is due for execution in Libya on Friday. His four accomplices have already paid the ultimate price.

Relatives of the convict managed to secure the clemency on Tuesday at Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region where the late Oppong’s family resides.

Kwabena Kankam is said to have admitted to killing Isaac Oppong in what he called self-defence.

Ahead of the clemency concession, Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei told Joy News that even though the Ghanaian Government had no real options in the matter, it was counting on the goodwill of the Libyan government to delay execution to enable the two families conclude talks.

It is not known yet if the Libyan authorities have been told of the desire of Isaac Oppong’s family to spare Kankam’s life.

The Head of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Macarious Akanbong, who confirmed the grant of pardon by the family, said he was unable to comment much on the issue because discussions had reached a very delicate stage.

He said even though the Ministry was very happy, it was the position of the Ministry that the matter should not be prejudged and that the Ministry was to meet with the families and possibly, the Libyan Embassy to sort out the matter.

An equally elated John Mahama, Member of Parliament for Bole-Bamboi, urged expedited action in getting the families sign needed documents to back their commitment so the Libyan authorities would be appropriately informed.

He said there was enough time to deal with the situation and the Foreign Affairs Ministry should move faster than it had done in the past.

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