General News Thu, 10 Aug 2006

Cocaine Probe: Witnesses refuse to testify

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - Counsel for the four witnesses, who were arrested after testifying before the Georgina Woode Committee on August 2, 2006 say their clients could not continue to give evidence when they were being tried by a court.

The Counsel including Nana Asante Bediatuo; Mr Mohammed Shanoon; Mr Awuku Asabre; Mr Kojo Graham and Mr Osafo Buabeng presented their position to the Committee when their clients appeared before it in Accra on Thursday.
The Witnesses, who are now being held as accused persons, were brought to the Committee in handcuffs. They were Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor; Alhaji Issah Abass; Kwabena Acheampong and Kwadwo Ababio. The four were arrested after testifying before the Committee investigating the theft of 77 parcels of cocaine from a ship at Tema. The four were implicated in a tape recording that discussed the whereabouts of the cocaine with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye.
Victor Kissi, aka Yaw Billa, who was arrested later and charged with the accused persons in court, appeared with his counsel, Mr Robert S. Blay, who pleaded on his behalf.
The Chairman, Mrs Justice Woode told Mr Blay that his client Billa had not been invited before the Committee and was not arrested after appearing before the Committee. He, therefore, had no case before the Committee.
Mrs Justice Woode accepted the plea of the other Counsel and discharged their clients, who were taken away under Police escort. Counsel for ACP Kofi Boakye, Mr Vincent Aikins, Mr Joe Aboagye Debrah and Mr Maxwell Opoku Agyemang said they would appear before the Committee anytime they were invited.
When the Counsel for the accused persons had left with their clients, Mr Aikins asked the Committee for a copy of the transcribed version of the alleged tape recording in ACP Boakye's house, arguing that they needed to study it and march it with the voices on the tape to affirm the truth.
ACP Boakye and his team are to reappear on Wednesday.

Source: GNA
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