The Commercial Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu has fixed January 21, 2021 to commence the trial of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agodzor, Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, and eight others who are standing trial for allegedly plotting to destabilize the state.
The court has also picked January 13, 14 and 15, 2021 to conduct the Case Management Conference (CMC) before the trial commences.
The purpose of the CMC is to identify the essential issues in the litigation and to avoid unnecessary, burdensome or duplicative discovery and other pretrial procedures in the course of preparing for trial of those issues.
At the last sitting, the court adjourned the case to Friday, November 20 for the jury to be empanelled.
But though the persons who were chosen by their respective organisations to serve as jury in the case were present, the court said: “I will not empanel the jury today.”
This was after, the court had invited the lawyers and prosecution into the judge’s chambers to have a close door discussion with them before the case was called.
Justice Asiedu, a Court of Appeal judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, however, said the trial of the case will commence on the same day, the jury was empanelled.
“We adjourned the case to Today (Friday) to empanel the jury, but I will not empanel the jury today. That is why I invited the lawyers. I have given some dates for the CMS 13th, 14th and 15th of January, 2021.
“The day we will empanel the jury is the same day the trial will start. If the accused persons are able, they may attend the CMC. If they are unable, their lawyers will represent them for the CMC.”
The court said, “The actual hearing of the case may commence on 21 January 2021” while urging member of the to endeavour to be in court on that date.
The case has subsequently been adjourned to January 21.
Last court sitting
Justice Samuel Asiedu explained that the registrar of the court had informed the court that members of the jury are not ready.
According to the court, letters have been served on various organizations to get their members ready but they were now responding to those letters.
The court, therefore, adjourned the case to November 20, 2020, hoping that members of the jury would be ready for it to be empanelled.
The court then directed the prosecution to ensure that all lawyers are served with the disclosure documents to enable them prepare before the next court date.
The Attorney General’s Department was on October 23, granted leave of court to file additional evidence in the case.
The motion which was moved Hilda Craig, Senior State Attorney was jot opposed to by defence lawyers.
The additional evidence the state filed were three mobile phones that were retrieved from the accused persons including one from a state witness.
ACP Agodzor, Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, and eight others who have been held for allegedly plotting to destabilize the state have pleaded not guilty to six charges.
ACP Agodzor and Dr Mac Palm, the man accused of masterminding the alleged plot; together with eight others have been slapped with six separate charges including treason felony.
The rest of Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, Donya Kafui, Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, Johannes Zikpi, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon all denied any wrongdoing.
Dr Mac-Palm, Dornyor Kafui, Allan Debrah Ofosu, Dekuwine, Abubakar, L/Cpl Akanpewon and Zikpi are on charges of conspiracy to commit treason felony and treason felony.
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 Commercial Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu however served an indication that “when I start the trial, it will be on a daily basis (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Fridays)."