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Alleged coup plotters’ case halted following non availability of jury members

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An Accra High Court hearing the case of 10 alleged coup plotters has adjourned the matter to November 20 following non availability of jury members.

When the court commenced sitting today, it was to empanel members of the jury for the trial to start but that could not be done.

According to the trial Judge, Mr. Justice Samuel Kofi Asiedu, a Court of Appeal Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, the Registrar of the court had informed him that the members of the jury were not “ready.”

The trial judge said the Registrar indicated that letters had been served on organizations and some of these organizations were now responding to the court’s letters.

The court indicated that it was granting a month adjournment in anticipation that by the next sitting, jury members would be available.

Meanwhile the Prosecutor, Ms. Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, who was being led by Winifred Sarpong, Principal State Attorney, has informed the court that the state had filed all their disclosures and witness statements.

According to Ms. Craig prosecution’s disclosures were filed on September 23, this year.

Ms. Craig said however some of the documents were inadvertently left out hence they had also filed an application to add more of those documents.

Some defense counsels indicated that they received copies of the state’s disclosures in open court and they would need more time to go through them since they were bulky.

Mr. Ziyerlei Agambilla, who represented Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan, drew the court’s attention to his application for bail variation, noting that his client was still in custody because of certain clauses attached to the bail conditions.

The court held that it would hear the bail variation application on October 22.

The 10 accused persons are alleged to be part of a plot to destabilize the country and possibly over throw the government.

The accused are Dr Frederick Mac-Palm, the man accused of masterminding the alleged plot; Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, Donya Kafui, Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, Johannes Zikpi, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo and Warrant Officer (II) Esther Saan Dekuwine.

They have each been granted bail in the sum of GH¢10 million, with two sureties to be justified.

With the justification, the sureties must provide proof of ownership of money or property equal to the bail sum.

As part of the bail conditions, the Court, presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu, a justice of the Court of Appeal, with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, ordered the eight to deposit their passports at the court’s registry and they must also report themselves to the Police every two weeks.

Dr Mac-Palm, Kafui, Debrah, Dekuwine, Abubakar, L/Cpl Akanpewon and Zikpi have been charged with conspiracy to commit treason felony and treason felony, while Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui have been separately charged with conspiracy to possess explosives and ammunition without lawful excuse and possession of explosives and ammunition without lawful excuse.

Col Gameli and ACP Dr Agordzo have been charged with abetment to treason felony.

The facts of the case, as presented by Ms. Craig, were that TAG plotted to destabilise the country and overthrow the government.

She claimed that, as part of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm, who is accused of being the mastermind of the plot, Kafui and Debrah planned on kidnapping the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief of the Defence Staff and force the President to announce his overthrow.

“Again, there were discussions on whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government,” she said.

The Prosecutor added that in June 2018, the security agencies picked up intelligence that the accused persons, under the auspices of TAG, had planned to overthrow and take over the government.

According to her, as part of the plan, Col. Gameli recruited Zikpi, who was a signal specialist with the GAF, to help jam the radio signals of the National Communications Authority.

TAG, she said, planned to jam all radio stations, with the exception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

The Prosecutor said in furtherance of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm invited Kafui, who was a blacksmith at Alavanyo, to Accra to manufacture explosives and pistols for the group.

With regard to ACP Dr Agordzo, Ms Craig said he donated GH¢2,000 to TAG to aid its cause and also drafted a speech for Dr Mac-Palm to be read at the planned demonstration by TAG.

Source: GNA

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