Treason trial: Accused was never engaged to jam radio transmission – Defense Counsel 

Mr Anthony Lartey, Counsel for Johannes Zipki, one of the accused for treason, says his client was never engaged by anybody to jam radio transmission had the alleged coup plot succeeded.

He told an Accra High Court that, “Zikpi never told you that he had been engaged by someone to provide technical advice on how to stop transmission to radio stations,” Defense Counsel put it to Mr Francis Aboagye, the tenth prosecution’s witness, who was part of the investigative team.

“That is false, these are communicated in WhatsApp chat with Dr Mac Palm and can be found on the phone of Dr Mac Palm,” the witness said.

In a cross-examination, the Defense Counsel said, Zikpi never told you that someone engaged him to provide technical advice to secure communication, however, the witness said it was false and that, “it will be found whilst his advice was sought, he even took further steps to acquire communication gadgets from one Corporal Alfred Ghartey, (a witness in the case).”

Mr Lartey also put it to the Prosecution witness that, “the WhatsApp communications you attributed to Zipki during your evidence-in-Chief were not found on the phone of Zikpi” and the witness said it was true they were found on Dr Mac Palm’s phone.

Defense Counsel also said his client did not say any of the things he attributed to him from the alleged WhatsApp conversation but witness said it was false as Zikpi had admitted, saying all these during interrogation and admitted in both his cautioned and charge statements.

Again, Mr Lartey said, Zipki did not voluntarily admit all the things Mr Aboagye attributed to him during interrogation and the witness said that was false, adding that most of the things Zikpi said were corroborated by the account of Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, another accused person.

On the other hand, Mr Eric Pongo, Defense Counsel for Colonel Gameli, asked whether the witness knew when Gameli contacted Dr Mac Palm and the witness said he did not remember.

Defense Counsel thus said, Colonel was a patient to Dr Mac Palm and witness said, the investigative team found out.

He said, Colonel Gameli was interviewed in the office of Major General Andoh, the third prosecution witness, and the Colonel denied knowledge of the alleged coup plot and witness said yes.

The Witness stated that initially Colonel Gameli denied but later he admitted when he was confronted with some pieces of evidence gathered.

Defense Counsel insisted that his client did not know anything about the alleged coup plot, adding that what he told the investigative team was that he knew Dr Mac Palm was peeved with the way the country was being run.

“He said that Dr Mac Palm intended to overthrow the Government as a result of those concerns when he had not been even informed about Kafui,” Witness said.

“He told us that Dr Mac Palm had brought someone from Alavanyo to make weapons and in their conversation, Dr Mac Palm told him (Gameli) that the person invited had come and was making the weapons in furtherance of the agenda to overthrow government,” witness continued.

Defense Counsel disagreed and said, “Your last allegation against Colonel Gameli is not true, what he told you was that he got to know about Kafui from Calister (a nurse at the Citadel Hospital) after the arrest of Dr Mac Palm.”

Counsel said his client did not admit either verbally or in writing to the allegation the witness was making against his client.

Witness said, “He admitted, the story was confirmed by Zikpi who indicated in both interrogation and statement that he was in a meeting with Colonel Gameli and Dr Mac Palm about his plan to overthrow government and when Dr Mac Palm first mentioned this idea, the Colonel said, “fantastic” and this is in his cautioned and charge statements.”

Colonel Gameli’s Counsel said the witness had a mix-up of what various people told him during interrogation but witness said it was false because he was a professional investigator, adding that Zipki corroborated everything Colonel Gameli said.

Defense Counsel for Warrant Officer Class Two (WOII) Esther Saan Dekuwine, said Esther was a military cook who did not control any armory as well as troops or personnel in the Ghana Armed Forces.

Witness said she played her virtue as a soldier to do other things relevant to the agenda to overthrow, including recruiting soldiers.

Defense Counsel said Bright Alan Debrah an accused person, was a friend of Esther through whom she got to know Dr Mac Palm for medical attention because she has had two caesarian sections.

She then informed Staff Sergeant Sule Awarf, Prosecution’s star witness, of a meeting at the Next Door Beach Resort, saying that at the time, they were attending the meeting, none of them knew about the agenda, counsel said.

On the contrary, Mr Aboagye said Esther was informed by Debrah that Dr Mac Palm needed people, particularly soldiers to support his agenda to become the President of Ghana but was quick to add that he cannot be sure whether Sule knew it.

He said Esther was also at the meeting where a sketch of vital places in Accra was discussed led by Debrah, who took the participants through and showed a particular place of the sketch where they were going to announce the takeover of government.

Dr Mac Palm, Kafui, Debrah, Zikpi, Colonel Gameli, WOII Esther, Assistant Commissioner of Police Dr Benjamin Agordzo and three soldiers are standing trial for treason. They have all denied the charge.

Source: GNA

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