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Court Orders AG To Furnish Dr Opuni With Documents

botchway June 14, 2018

An Accra High Court has ordered the Attorney General (AG) to furnish Dr Stephen Opuni, the former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD within seven days all documents it intended to rely in the prosecution of him.

Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo, both accused relied on Article 19(2) (e) and (g) and requested the AG to provide them all documents including those it will not rely on in the course of the trial.

The court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge said the Supreme Court’s ruling on a similar case needed no interpretation.

He said the documents would enable the accused to prepare effectively for their defence.

The Supreme Court constituted by the seven member panel unanimously decided last week that an accused was entitled to all prosecution witness statements even if the statements would not be tendered in court.

The court also held that accused must be given all exhibits that the prosecution would tender as evidence.

This would enable accused to plea bargain or also build their defence.

The court however stated that the disclosures were subject to certain conditions such as its relevance, the public good, state security among others.

The apex court ruled “the duty of disclosure is not absolute. It is at the discretion of prosecution and same should be made at a reasonable time and that is also subject to a review by a court.

The court further held that disclosures could be made at the beginning of a trial or at the end if there were additional issues.

In cases where documents were being tendered during trial lawyers could seek an adjournment to study those documents.

The accused are facing a total of 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretence, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They pleaded not guilty and have been granted a GH¢ 300,000 each self-recognisance bail by the court.

The case has been adjourned to July 4 for the trial to commence.

In another development, an Accra Circuit Court has remanded into Police custody a Pastor for allegedly defiling a 13 year old girl at Chorkor, a suburb of Accra. Eric Quaye charged with defilement pleaded not guilty. Quaye is expected to appear before the court on June 26.

The court presided over by Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley Quaison declined a bail application of Mr Michael Kpodo, counsel for the accused person. Chief Inspector Kofi Atimbire who held the brief of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Agnes Boafo narrated that the complainant is a trader residing at Chorkor with her 13 year old daughter who is the victim in the case.

Prosecution said Quaye who is also a driver resides within the same vicinity with the complainant and in the month of May this year, while the victim was playing with Quaye’s daughter in the house, the accused lured the victim into his room and had sex with her.

According to prosecution on May 6, this year, at about 1300 hours, Quaye called the victim to go and dry his sponge for him and on her return Quaye again had sex with the victim.

Prosecution said the victim was however spotted emerging from Quaye’s room and the complainant was informed.

When the complainant quizzed the victim she informed the complainant about Quaye’s conduct.

Prosecution said a report was made to the Police and a medical report form was issued to the complainant to send the victim to the hospital for examination. When Quaye was arrested he denied the offence in his caution statement.

Source: GNA

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