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General News Thu, 21 Jun 2007

Court to rule on Tagor and Abass

Accra, June 21, GNA - The Fast Track High Court would on June 27 rule on whether or not Kwabena Amaning, 34, and Alhaji Issa Abass, who wEre being held for narcotic offences have a case to answer. This was after the state on Thursday submitted before the court that the accused had a case to answer.


Responding to a submission of "no case", Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP), said it was not true that the prosecution's evidence so was discredited that no reasonable court could convict the accused persons.


Defence counsel had earlier argued before the court that evidence adduced by the prosecution after calling 11 witnesses was discredited and that no reasonable court could convict them. Ms Aikins noted that the prosecution had been able to lead evidence on the conspiracy charge levelled against the two accused persons. The acting DPP was of the view that apart from the tape, the Police conducted further investigations in other areas. She debunked the defence counsel's assertion that the charges levelled against the accused were not defined hence flawed. Ms Aikins submitted that the offences were clearly defined in the Criminal Procedure Code, adding that the period during which the offence was committed had been stipulated.


She said the transcripts on the meeting at Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Kofi Boakye's house at Kanda, in Accra, indicated that Amaning and Abass agreed to look for the parcel of missing drugs (cocaine).


According to Ms AIkins, statements by Amaning and Abass indicated that they agreed to look for the missing cocaine. Quoting portions of the transcripts, Ms Aikins said Amaning stated that they had spent a lot of money on "goods" and as such they should lay ambush.

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The acting DPP said all those statements alluded to the accused persons recovering the missing cocaine. "A common purpose runs through all the statements made by the accused themselves hence they conspiring."


She said it was true that the court could convict the accused persons solely on their confessions, which were voluntarily made. Ms Aikins noted that the confessions by the accused persons were made voluntarily and were not staged managed, adding that this was proved by Professor John Peter French, an international forensic voice expert.


The prosecution argued that it had been able to lead evidence to show that Amaning engaged in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs.


According to her, in the transcript Amaning admitted crediting 100 kilogrammes of cocaine and received the payments in Holland. In addition, Amaning admitted supplying drugs to one Mama Tess, who operated a furniture shop on the Spintex Road, she said, adding that, this proved the charge of doing business relating to narcotic drugs. Police have not been able to trace Mama Tess. In the case of Abass, the prosecution said he also admitted that he gave some drugs to Amaning and that had been confirmed by a prosecution witness, Kwabena Acheampong.


She said the meeting held by ACP Kofi Boakye was unofficial, branding it as a "Brotherhood meeting". She added that there were no records to that effect.

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"Which official meeting starts with the drinking of whisky, black lady drink?" Ms Aikins asked.


On the question of ACP Kofi Boakye being a relevant material in the case, Ms Aikins maintained that although he was a police officer, he was not a material witness. "More so, the prosecution did not need multiplicity of witnesses to make their case."


Evaluating the prosecution witnesses, Ms Aikins said the prosecution produced enough witnesses to make their case. She maintained that terminologies such as "goods", "businesses" and "keys" were normally used by the persons in the underworld of drugs stressing that Kwabena Acheampong, who had been convicted on drug related offence confirmed that. According to her in the underworld, "goods" meant drugs, where as "keys" denoted kilogrammes.


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 has remanded them in prison custody by the court presided over by Mr Justice Victor Jones Dotse, a Court of Appeal Judge. 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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