Woyome’s Legal Team Presents Written Evidence In Court

Alfred Agbesi WoyomeThe legal team of businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, yesterday tendered in evidence three letters written by the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her Deputy, Ebo Burton-Odro to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, justifying claims made by him (Woyome) against the State.

Per the three letters, the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice and her deputy advanced reasons for the legitimacy of Woyome’s claims and accordingly, requested the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to pay him (Woyome).

Two of the letters, dated April 11 and April 29, 2010 were written by Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu while the third one, dated March 29, 2010, was written by Mr. Burton-Odro.

Portions of the three letters were read by Woyome in court before they were tendered when he mounted the box to continue his evidence in chief at the Financial Division Two Court.

He is being tried for defrauding the state by false pretence and causing financial loss to which charges he has denied, since June 5, 2012.

According to state prosecutors, Woyome in February 2010 made false representations to the government that it, owed him two per cent of 1,106,470,587 Euros for his financial engineering services rendered for the rehabilitation of the Accra, Kumasi and El-Wak stadia, ahead of the African Cup of Nations, CAN 2008 hosted by Ghana.

He is further accused of ‘willfully and fraudulently causing huge financial losses’ of GHc 51,283,480.59 to the state, between September 2010 and September 2011.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Osafo Buabeng, the accused said per the signed letters his claim was based on the consortium, and that the consortium would have brought into the project a total of 1,106,470,587 Euros covering sports facilities, radiation plant and tissue culture and hospital and wellness centres.

The accused said Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu in her April 11, 2010 letter advised Dr. Kwabena Duffour, the then Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to pay him (Woyome) in order to put matters to rest.

State prosecutors objected to the accused comments on Mr. Burton-Odro’s letter since he could not express his opinion on someone’s letter and prayed the court not to accept it.

Responding, Mr. Buabeng asked the court to ignore the objection because his client was not making additions nor was he amending it but was reading portions which stated that his client had no dealings with the government and was not entitled to his claim.

“It is pertinent to the interest of justice to comment on the letter since it is already in evidence and can be commented on, which is the position of the law”, he said.

The Fast Track High court, presided over by Justice Ajet-Nassam, overruled the objection.

Asked by counsel to respond to the evidence by the police investigator in the case, that no money was transferred into the country by Bank Austria, Woyome said it was incorrect and that under no circumstance had anybody written or verbally stated that Bank Austria had transferred money into Ghana.

Rather, he said an arrangement was made after concurrent approval for the state to accept the offer for the money on or before September 30, 2005.

Asked whether the signatories to the offer were authentic, the accused replied in the affirmative and was quick to add that arrangement of funds are not transferred but accessed by a certificate by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the contracting authority after completion of work.

“In this particular instance, Bank Austria had financed health projects at Sogakope in the Volta Region, Begoro in the Eastern Region and Gushegu in the Northern Region and that no money was transferred into the country but were accessed by a certificate and the contracting authority”, he said.

Explaining further, the accused said since he is an entity and Bank Austria also an entity arrangement of such nature was not binding on the government but to ensure that it passed through the normal legal process.

Asked to dilate on his relationship with Austro Invest, Woyome said he contracted them for finance syndication but he refused to pay them because he did not deal directly with them and they filed a suit in court against him claiming one million dollars.

Accused said the legal suit was withdrawn when he paid the company.

Hearing continues today. By Winston Tamakloe

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