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Dr Mac Palm was tortured, forced to sign inventory – Defense counsel

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Mr E.A. Vordoagu, Defense Counsel for Dr Frederick Mac Palm says his client was tortured and forced to sign an inventory.

He told the High Court trying ten persons for Treason that there were videos that captured Dr Mac Palm’s clear denial of having knowledge of the presence of locally made weapons and implements used on that premise, for that purpose, adding that it was those exhibits collected that his client was made to sign.

The Defense Counsel in his cross-examination of Mr Francis Aboagye, the tenth Prosecution’s witness, said, on September 20, 2019, when Dr Mac Palm was arrested, the videos that captured that aspect were not included by the investigative team in its report presented to the Court.

Mr Aboagye said in those videos captured at the arresting scenes, Dr Mac Palm had indicated initially that he was not aware of the presence of the Improvised Explosive Devices on his compound but later accepted that he knew about them and that they were for Donya Kafui, alias Ezor, the blacksmith.

Also, Dr Mac Palm said he knew that Ezor made them for the Nkonya Alavanyo conflict and that he did not know Ezor had cut them on his premises, the witness added.

Defense Counsel on the other hand said his client denied knowledge of the presence of any weapons until assaulted by the officers and he accepted that under duress.

Mr Vordoagu said though his client did not resist arrest, he was tortured by some officers of the arresting team made up of military personnel and National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).

Mr Aboagye however denied Dr Mac Palm was hit with the butt of a gun but said the only thing he saw was when a military officer smacked his buttocks.

Defense Counsel again said his client’s right was trampled upon when he was handcuffed close to five hours, stressing that when a suspect was under arrest he or she was supposed to be interviewed but interrogated which Mr Aboagye disagreed.

He asked the witness to state the obligations of an officer when effecting arrest and Mr Aboagye said the suspect needed to be informed why he or she was being arrested, his or her liberty to have a lawyer of his or her choice as well as remain silent if he or she deemed it necessary.

“On September 20, 2019, you didn’t tell him of his rights as guaranteed,” the lawyer put it to the witness but he said, “I don’t agree with you”.

He raised the issue of the team not securing an arrest warrant and a search warrant for the exercise but Mr Aboagye said in instances where there were exigencies, the officers had the mandate to arrest without the warrant.

He gave the emergency situation as when a person was in the process of committing a crime and that if immediate arrest was not effected, it could affect the course of investigation.

However, the Defense Counsel challenged that “on this occasion there was a pre-knowledge of an alleged crime which had been committed” but Mr Aboagye said at that time he was not privy to that information.

The lawyer said the alleged sketch that the witness told the Court was retrieved from Dr Mac Palm’s premises was planted there by Military Intelligence since the investigative team took control of the place as well as his house.

Witness answered that “as indicated the Hospital was not under the control of security officers after Dr Mac Palm’s arrest but that some relatives and some other nurses residing there took charge of the place.”

Dr Mac Palm, Chief Executive Officer of the Citadel Hospital, is standing trial with nine others: Ezor, Bright Alan Debrah, alias “BB,” Freight Manager, Johannes Zikpi, signaler with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Esther Saan, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Corporal Sylvester Akanpewu, Lance Airforce Corporal (LAC) Ali Solomon, Colonel Kojo Gameli and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo.

They are being held over charges including conspiracy to commit crime, high treason, possession of ammunition and abetment.

Source: GNA

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