Phil Rees, the Director of Investigations at Al Jazeera, has confirmed the news organization’s stance on its documentary titled “Ghana: The Gold Mafia and the Fight to End Corruption,” which has drawn criticism from the Ghanaian government and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The government had demanded an apology and retraction of the documentary, which it claimed contained false allegations against the President and his administration.

Responding to an inquiry by Ghanaian broadcaster TV3, Rees said in an email: “Since the investigation did not actually allege what the President’s Office has suggested it did – we will not be apologizing or removing the documentary from publication.” He added, “Best wishes.”

Rees’ email was published on the TV3 program “Johnnie’s Bite” on May 5, 2023. The email, which Rees personally signed, also included his designation as the Director of Investigative Journalism at the Investigative Journalism Directorate.

Al-Jazeera Director of Investigation and Akufo Addo

The documentary, which was released on April 16, 2023, exposes alleged corruption in Ghana’s gold mining industry.

It includes interviews with individuals who claim to have evidence of corrupt practices and links to high-ranking government officials. The government has denied the allegations and accused Al Jazeera of attempting to tarnish the image of the President and his administration.

Al Jazeera has stood by its documentary and maintained that it stands by the accuracy of its reporting.

The refusal by Al Jazeera to retract or apologize for its documentary is likely to further strain relations between the news organization and the Ghanaian government. It remains to be seen how the government will respond to Al Jazeera’s stance.

See Rees’ response below:

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