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Defence lawyers in NCA trial file for stay of proceedings

Defence lawyers in the National Communication Authority’s (NCA) case have filed for stay of proceedings as they head for Court of Appeal over the trial court’s admission of what they term as controversial evidence.

The lawyers filed a motion for stay of proceedings at the High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour which is trying Mr William Tevie, former Director General of NCA and four others.

The accused are awaiting the determination of the Court of Appeal over a ruling of the High Court judge that admitted evidence tendered in by the prosecution through the third prosecution witness.

At the last sitting, the lawyers opposed the tendering in of the handing over notes by the third prosecution witness as they deemed it as incomplete.

Again, they opposed to being heard in camera during his cross-examination contrary to some sections of the evidence Act.

However, the Prosecution were of the view that the part of the handing over notes that made the document incomplete had portions that had national security implications and could not be disclosed in full to the defence team and the general public in particular.

Justice Baffour admitted the documents in evidence on those grounds.

Based on that, the defence team decided to appeal the ruling and have served the High Court notice of their intention.

The case stands sine die.

Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, NCA former Board Chairman, Mr William Tevie, a former Director General, Nana Owusu Ensaw, former Board Member, Mr George Derrick Oppong, Director of Infralock Development Limited, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator are standing trial for an alleged malfeasance into the purchase of a Cyber Surveillance Equipment.

They have variously been charged for wilfully causing financial loss to the State, conspiracy to steal and stealing, using public office for private gain, in contravention with the Public Procurement Act, Money laundering and intentionally misapplying public property.

All the accused persons have denied the various charges and are on a bail of $1 million each with three sureties each.

In 2015, the accused persons, without authorisation, decided to purchase a Cyber Surveillance system, which they claimed was to be used for anti-terrorism operations.

The system, which was to be used in the fight against terrorism, reportedly had some of its components missing, and it could not be utilised.

On December 22, 2017, three persons, including Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former NCA Board Chairman and two others were arraigned over the alleged fraudulent purchase of the Cyber Security Surveillance system $8 million without approval of the Authority’s Board.

Source: GNA

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