Crime

Alleged coup plot: Court to discharge an accused Feb 20

Gershon Akpah, one of the ten persons charged with treason will be discharged on February 20, 2020, Ms Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, has  told the Accra High Court, yesterday. 

Ms Craig told the court presided by Justice Ruby Quaison that the decision to discharge Akpah, a weapon mechanic, was based on the advice of the Attorney-General (A-G).

It is recalled that the docket of the accused, who are facing charges of conspiracy to commit crime and possession of explosives without lawful authority, had been sent to the A-G Department for advice.

At proceedings yesterday, the prosecutor said the Bill of Indictment (BI) on the nine other accused was ready and that committal proceedings would be conducted at the district court on February 20.

The prosecutor stated this when she urged the court to dismiss another bail application by the accused. 

 This would be the third time the high court had refused a bail application after two similar applications were earlier dismissed by the high court last year.

Mr Victor Adawudu, counsel for Dr Fredrick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital at Alajo, Accra, Bright Alan Debrah, Dornyo Kafui, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer,  Akpah,  Corporal Seidu Abubakar and Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu, had asked the court to grant his client bail.

He argued that innocence of the accused must be upheld, and reminded the court the prosecution could demonstrate to the court how the accused could abscond or interfere with investigation once they were granted bail.

In opposing the bail, Ms Craig contended that the dynamics of the case had changed, and said the accused were likely not to come to stand trial.

She stated that although article 19 of the 1992 Constitution talks about fair and reasonable trial, the court should not lose sight of article 14(1) (g) of the same constitution which talks about the curtailment of the freedom of the accused on the least suspicion. 

Ruling on the application, Justice Quaison said that she had considered the nature of accusations against the accused and the punishment, and was convinced  accused would not come to stand trial if granted bail.

Three months ago, the  high court then presided  by Justice George Buadi, refused bail put in by seven of the accused, stating that they could interfere with investigation.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, told the magistrate court presided by Mrs Elleanor Kakra Bans that Dr Mac-Palm and his colleagues belonged to an association called Take Action Ghana (TAG) and had planned to stage demonstrations, ostensibly to topple the government.

He said in July 2019, accused contacted a blacksmith from Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, to manufacture 22 explosives, six ammunitions and five pistols.

The court heard that the blacksmith charged alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

He said on September 19, Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui were arrested after test firing at Teshie Military shooting range.

The court heard that a search conducted in the premises of the Citadel Hospital revealed six unregistered pistol, one registered pistol, 22 explosives, three grenades, 63 rounds of ammunition, two empty AK47 magazines and other machines used in manufacturing weapons.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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