Court to rule on bail application for treason case today

An Accra High Court on Thursday fixed December 20 to deliver its ruling on a bail application put in by seven out of 10 persons held for treason.

The 10 accused persons have been charged with acts intended to destabilise the Government.

The court fixed the date after it had listened to arguments from both the prosecution and the defence in relation to the bail application.

The seven are: Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui alias Ezor, Bright Alan Debra, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, Gershon Akpa, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar, and Sylvester Akankpewu.

On the part of the other three, the High Court has refused bail for ACP Benjamin Agordzo, whereas WOII Esther Saan was granted bail but was yet to meet the bail conditions, whereas Ali Solomon is yet to make an application for bail.

Arguing for bail, Defence Counsel, Mr Kwadjoga Adawudu, contended that there had been unreasonable delay on the part of the state.

He said there had been abuse of power by the prosecution noting that if the Bill of Indictment had been filed “there was no way that proceeding would not have commenced”.

He said the prosecution had so far not filed any necessary documents for the committal proceedings to commence.

Mr Adawudu said currently there was no time frame by which investigations into the matter would be completed and that the accused persons had all denied their involvement in the case.

Considering the resources of the state in terms of communication and technology, Defence Counsel said the state had all the machinery to fast track its decision on the case, hence it was unacceptable to incarcerate the accused for three months, with the assertion that “it was investigating the matter.”

Looking at the condition of detention facilities, it was a punishment to keep someone without trial, he said.

Defence Counsel said on the issue of unreasonable delay, there was the need to set a judicial inquiry to determine what constituted an unreasonable delay.

“The application before is a meritorious one and the court should exercise its discretion by granting the accused person bail,” he said.

Mr Adawudu said the accused persons would appear before the court to stand trial when granted bail and they had people of substance who would stand as sureties for them.

He explained that the Ghana Armed Forces had their own protocol and arrangements to find the accused persons any time or day; adding that they could be released to their Unit Commanders or Military Provost Marshall who, in turn, would produce them to stand trial.

Ms Hilda Craig, Senior State Attorney, who opposed the bail application, said the charges levelled against them had gone beyond suspicion to real facts adding; “When those facts were put before the court it would shake the foundation of the court”.

Ms Craig said the two charges levelled against the persons did not warrant simple investigations, which could be done within a short period.

She admitted that all offences were bailable but the court, in granting bail, would have to exercise its discretion.

The Senior State Attorney, referring to the affidavit in support of the bail application, said the charges were trap-up because they had been instigated by one Sule Kojo Awal, a Military person.

She said when granted bail, the accused persons would interfere with the witness Awal who also lived in the barracks.

Ms Craig held that there had not been any unreasonable delay in the matter, looking at the circumstances of the case.

Meanwhile, four (Dr Mac-Palm, Debrah, Kafui and ACP Agordzo) out of the 10 accused persons were present at the Kaneshie District Court when the case was called but the rest arrived later when proceedings had ended.

Mr Adawudu said the reason for their absence was because their bail application was before the High Court.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare said prosecution was still putting the dockets together as indicated in the last court session for onward submission to the Attorney General to enable it to prepare for the Bill of Indictment to commence the committal proceedings.

It pleaded with the Court to extend the warrant to the previous custody period to enable it do so.

All the counsels: Mr Bede Tukuu, Mr Ziyerley Agambilla and Mr Kpebu associated with Mr Adawudu’s submission that since bail applications were being made the next adjourned date be extended to enable them secure same for their clients.

Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway, the Magistrate, reiterated the need for prosecution to fast track their investigations for speedy trial.

The Kaneshie Magistrate’s Court has adjourned the substantive case to January 8, 2020.

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