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General News Thu, 19 Mar 2020

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Ofosu-Ampofo trial adjourned, witness in self-quarantine

The conspiracy to cause harm and assault on public officers trial of Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, was Wednesday adjourned because the Prosecution’s second witness, who was expected to take the stand, is in self-quarantine on his return from a trip abroad.

The one-month quarantine, the Court was told, was in line the nation’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Asiamah Sampong, a Chief State Attorney, told the High Court, presided over by Justice Samuel K. Asiedu, that the witness, whose name he withheld, had returned from a country with more than 200 COVID-19 cases.

The Court asked whether the Prosecution knew when he returned or not but they said they did not know.

Before adjourning the trial, Mr Tony Lithur, the Lead Counsel for Mr Ofosu Ampofo, prayed the Court to consider that on April 7, the defense team would be at the Supreme Court for the ruling on the application of stay of proceedings.

“If we can abide by that date, the road will be cleared for all of us,” he pleaded.

The Prosecution has said it would before April 7, file an affidavit in opposition to the application by the defense at the Supreme Court to stay proceedings.

The Court after considering the submissions of both the Prosecution and the Defense, adjourned the proceedings to April 8.

Before then, Mr Sampong told the Court that though the Prosecution filed the witness’ statement on March 5; the defense, including Dr Aziz Bamba, counsel for Mr Anthony Kwaku Boahen, said they received their copies only this morning (Wednesday, March 18).

Mr Boahen, a Deputy Communications Director for NDC, who is standing trial with Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, has been charged with conspiracy to cause harm.

They have both denied the offences and been granted a GH¢100,000.00 bail with a surety each.

Though Mr Boahen was in court, Mr Ofosu Ampofo was absent as he had at the previous session applied for a 10-day excuse duty.

The Courtroom, was unusually empty, with only a few supporters turn-ups.

According to the Prosecution, the accused had been captured in an audio recording of the proceedings of a meeting on February 3, 2019, planning a road-map of criminal activities targeted at the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, among others.

The meeting followed January 31, 2019, AyawasoWest-Wuogon by-election, which turned violent following a clash between some National Security operatives and supporters of the National Democratic Congress suspected to be vigilantes.

The tape was played on some radio stations and according to the Prosecution, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service intercepted it.

The Prosecution said, Mr Boahen had confirmed being at the said meeting and also confessed on a radio station that the information on the tape was true.

Source: GNA

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