Minister briefs Parliament on Gitmo ex-detainees in closed-sitting

Ms Hanna Tetteh - Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Ms Hanna Tetteh – Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Hannah Tetteh, was in Parliament on Friday to apprise a closed sitting of the House on Ghana’s hosting of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The two Yemenis – Mahmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Shayk Mohammed, 34 – were transferred from the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to Ghana by the United States Government.

The presence of the two has generated public discussion as to the safety and security of Ghanaians in relation to their backgrounds as ex-convicts from a known US terrorist detention and correctional facility.

The US Government, however, maintains that the two pose no threat to the safety of Ghanaians.

Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, in an address before the House went into the close-door sitting, noted that despite the matter being of public interest it was also before the “highest court.”

Speaker Adjaho said the decision to hold the briefing in camera was arrived at in consultation with the leadership of the House.

He added: “In my mind it does not amount to pandering to another arm of Government.”

Many legislators, mainly from the Minority side, have raised concerns with government’s acceptance of the two Yemeni’s and have stated that government should have brought the issue before the peoples representatives in Parliament.

Earlier in the week, the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus held a press conference to register their objection to the in camera briefing of the House, on the grounds of the matter being of public interest.

Source: GNA

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