General News of Thu, 5 Feb 20046
State Appeals Against Bail For Alleged Drug Barons
The state has appealed against the decision of the Greater Accra Regional Tribunal to grant bail to six persons who are facing trial for their alleged involvement in the shipment of 675 kilogram’s of cocaine into the country. Mr. Anthony Gyambiby, the Chief State Attorney, filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
The state has also applied for a stay of execution of the bail granted by the tribunal until the final determination of the appeal. The accused person are Kevin D. Gorman, a 59- year-old American, Mohammed Ibrahim Kail, a Ghanaian car dealer, David J. Logan, 43, Frank D. Laverick, 43, Alan Hodgson, 45, all Britons, and Sven Herb, 45 a German.
They have all appealed not guilty to two counts of engaging in criminal conspiracy to commit an offence relating to narcotic drugs and possessing narcotic drugs without authority.
Gorman has been charged with an additional count of using his property for keeping narcotic drugs. Each of the accused person was granted bail in the sum of 300 million cedis with two sureties to be justified and is to report to the police once a week.
The tribunal also ordered the accused persons to hand over their passports and other travelling document to the Registrar of the Regional Tribunal.
The three-member panel, presided over by Mr. Justice P. K. Aggrey, deferred the reasons for the bail till January 10, 2004.
Giving the grounds for the appeal, Mr. Gyambiby said the tribunal failed to consider the gravity of the offence when it granted the bail.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Papa Owusu Ankomah, has expressed outrage at the decision of the tribunal and added that judging by the delicate nature of the case, the trial judge had not exercised his discretion properly.
He also said the terms of the bail were not rigorous enough, judging from the street value of the cocaine and the extra effort that the security agencies put in to apprehend the suspects.