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Crime & Punishment Wed, 27 Jun 2007

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Court orders Tagor and Abass to open defence

Accra, June 27, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Wednesday rejected a submission of no case filed by Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor and Alhaji Issa Abass and ordered them to open their defence on July 17. The court ruled that a prima facie case had been established against them after the prosecution closed its case.
Defence counsel after the close of prosecution's case contended that no case had been made against the accused, who are being held on drug related offences.
Abass, 53, and Kwabena Amaning, alias Tagor, 34, are jointly charged for conspiracy.
Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs while Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs.
They have pleaded not guilty and the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Victor Jones Dotse, a Court of Appeal Judge, has remanded them in prison custody.
The court was filled with well wishers following some media reports that judgement was to be delivered and that the accused would be discharged if the submission of no case was granted. But the audience left with disappointment after the court's ruling.
The court said the prosecution had been able to prove all the essential elements embodied in all the charges levelled against each of them.
Counsel for Abass, Osafo Buabeng earlier stated that the charges of conspiracy and abetment were not defined in the statutes hence they were unconstitutional.
The court dismissed this declaring that "it is untenable" because the two charges were known to laws of the state.
According to the court, the two accused persons agreed to carry out a narcotic drug business by teaming up adding that discussions which took place at Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye's House at Kanda centred on a ship and its contents.
During that meeting, the court said, participants including the accused used some terminologies such as "goods" meaning drugs, "keys" meaning kilogrammes and these were confirmed by two prosecution witnesses.
"It is incumbent on me to call on Abass to explain to me what he meant by those terminologies during the conversation." The court listing out prosecution witnesses described Detective Justice Oppong as evasive describing him as somebody who was not worth wearing a police uniform.
It noted that the prosecution, in making out their case tendered exhibits, namely statements of the accused persons, compact disc containing the recorded conversation and transcripts.
According to the court, it would have been happy if ACP Kofi Boakye was called to clarify things to the court but "it was the preserve of the prosecution not to call him".
It said the prosecution had been able to prove the charge of supplying and buying of drugs levelled against the accused persons. The court was of the view that in the chain of supply there must be an item and that item was cocaine. "There must be a recipient and that person was one Mama Tess, who Tagor supplied some 'goods' to.
"In all these, the prosecution has been able to prove essential ingredients of the accused supplying drugs."
In the case of Abass, the court noted that he confessed about previous dealings and he having been cheated by Tagor. Mr Ellis Owusu-Forjour, counsel for Tagor, prayed the court to grant him time to enable them to open their defence.
He said they would not hesitate to come to the court for a subpoena for their witnesses.
The case of the prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

Accra, June 27, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Wednesday rejected a submission of no case filed by Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor and Alhaji Issa Abass and ordered them to open their defence on July 17. The court ruled that a prima facie case had been established against them after the prosecution closed its case.
Defence counsel after the close of prosecution's case contended that no case had been made against the accused, who are being held on drug related offences.
Abass, 53, and Kwabena Amaning, alias Tagor, 34, are jointly charged for conspiracy.
Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs while Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs.
They have pleaded not guilty and the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Victor Jones Dotse, a Court of Appeal Judge, has remanded them in prison custody.
The court was filled with well wishers following some media reports that judgement was to be delivered and that the accused would be discharged if the submission of no case was granted. But the audience left with disappointment after the court's ruling.
The court said the prosecution had been able to prove all the essential elements embodied in all the charges levelled against each of them.
Counsel for Abass, Osafo Buabeng earlier stated that the charges of conspiracy and abetment were not defined in the statutes hence they were unconstitutional.
The court dismissed this declaring that "it is untenable" because the two charges were known to laws of the state.
According to the court, the two accused persons agreed to carry out a narcotic drug business by teaming up adding that discussions which took place at Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye's House at Kanda centred on a ship and its contents.
During that meeting, the court said, participants including the accused used some terminologies such as "goods" meaning drugs, "keys" meaning kilogrammes and these were confirmed by two prosecution witnesses.
"It is incumbent on me to call on Abass to explain to me what he meant by those terminologies during the conversation." The court listing out prosecution witnesses described Detective Justice Oppong as evasive describing him as somebody who was not worth wearing a police uniform.
It noted that the prosecution, in making out their case tendered exhibits, namely statements of the accused persons, compact disc containing the recorded conversation and transcripts.
According to the court, it would have been happy if ACP Kofi Boakye was called to clarify things to the court but "it was the preserve of the prosecution not to call him".
It said the prosecution had been able to prove the charge of supplying and buying of drugs levelled against the accused persons. The court was of the view that in the chain of supply there must be an item and that item was cocaine. "There must be a recipient and that person was one Mama Tess, who Tagor supplied some 'goods' to.
"In all these, the prosecution has been able to prove essential ingredients of the accused supplying drugs."
In the case of Abass, the court noted that he confessed about previous dealings and he having been cheated by Tagor. Mr Ellis Owusu-Forjour, counsel for Tagor, prayed the court to grant him time to enable them to open their defence.
He said they would not hesitate to come to the court for a subpoena for their witnesses.
The case of the prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

Source: GNA

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