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General News Thu, 30 Jun 2005

State files notice of Appeal against Soussoudis's acquittal

Accra, June 30, GNA - The State has filed a notice of appeal against the decision of an Accra Fast Track High Court that acquitted and discharged Michael Soussoudis, an Economist, who was charged with two counts of the unlawful possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition. In the notice of appeal filed on June 22, 2005, the State noted that the trial court erred in law when it upheld the submission of no case and acquitted and discharged Soussoudis when the Prosecution had made out a prima facie case.

The notice signed by Mr Eric Agbolosu, Chief State Attorney, stated: "The decision of the trial court in acquitting Soussoudis was not supported by the evidence before it."

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On June 16, an Accra Fast Track High upheld a submission of no case on the grounds that no prima facie had been made against Soussousdis for him to be called upon to open his defence. It, therefore, directed a seven-member jury to enter a plea of not guilty on Soussoudis, who had pleaded not guilty. Earlier, Soussoudis' Counsel led by Mr Amponsah Dadzie made a submission of no case soon after Prosecution had closed its case. The Court in its ruling on the submission of no case acquitted Sousssoudis saying the Prosecution, in proving its case against the accused rather proved his innocence.

"Prosecution had failed to prove the guilt of the accused. Indeed the Prosecution proved the innocence of the accused and, therefore, the Court cannot call on the accused to open his defence." The case for the Prosecution was that a team of security men acting upon a tip-off searched the premises of Soussoudis in Accra sometime in April 2001 where a quantity of explosives, military kits and magazines were discovered at the main building and the boys' quarters (out house). The Prosecution said the security men conducted a further search later, using firearms detectors and they retrieved more weapons.

Source: GNA
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