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General News Wed, 6 Nov 2002

I didn't write anonymous letter - Witness

Dr Albert Owusu-Barnafo, a prosecution witness on Tuesday denied ever writing an anonymous letter to Hanny Sherry Ayittey, one of the four persons standing trial at an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC).

Dr Owusu-Barnafo who was cross-examined by Johnny Quarshie-Idun, Counsel for Ayittey, however admitted that a letter he wrote was addressed to Ayittey and the then Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation Board of which she (Ayittey) was a member.

After Counsel had shown both letters to the court and they were admitted into evidence, witness read them after which he made the denial as being the author of the anonymous letter titled: "A word to the wise is enough."

Osafo Sampong, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) raised an objection to witness authorship but the trial Judge Justice J.C. Amonoo-Monney, an Appeal Court Judge with additional responsibility on the case as a High Court Judge overruled the objection saying that the admission of the document will not be prejudicial to the case.

Ayittey, treasurer of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM), Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, former Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee, Ralph Casely-Hayford, businessman and Sati Dorcas Ocran, housewife, are being tried for their alleged involvement in bribery and corruption activities in connection with the privatisation of the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL). They have all pleaded not guilty and each of them is on a self-recognisance bail.

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Dr Owusu-Barnafo, agent of a South African based electronic company, suppliers of telecommunication equipment to GWSC told the court that Ayittey forced him to abandon the company and join Expoma.

Witness said he worked with Expoma on the instructions of Ayittey but could not tell the court the exact date. He said "I would have to cross-check with my records to know exactly when Ayittey asked me to abandon Grinaaker Electronic Systems, the South African company and work with Expoma.?

Earlier, Dr Owusu-Barnafo told the court that he, Etienne Popeler, second prosecution witness and Mrs Georgina Okaitey another prosecution witness yet to testify, went to Ayittey?s house to present an amount of ?25m to her. Witness however said Ayittey led him into her sitting room where he delivered the money.

Asked by Counsel whether the other two people who accompanied him were present, witness replied in the negative but said Ayittey's daughter was in the room walking around. The case has been adjourned to Monday 11 November for continuation.

Source: gna
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