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Alleged coup plotters case: Court admits videos, audios as evidence

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The High Court in Accra has admitted into evidence the hard drive containing the videos and audios that allegedly captured the activities of the 10 persons facing trial for supposedly plotting to overthrow the government.
Counsels for the accused persons had opposed and attacked the prosecution’s evidence as they closed their arguments on the admissibility of the audios and videos last Monday.

They argued, among others, that the exhibits were not from proper custody, relevant, authentic, original and also violated the fundamental human rights of their clients.

They also argued that the recordings on the pen drive were dated 2013, although the prosecution had charged the accused persons for crimes supposedly committed in 2018 and 2019.

On the other hand, the prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, had urged the court to admit the pen drive containing the videos and audios into evidence.

The videos and audios form part of the testimony of the third prosecution witness, Staff Sergeant Awarf Sule, and had already been played in open court.

Court’s ruling

In its ruling, however, the three-member panel, chaired by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, with Justices Hafsa Amaliba and Stephen Oppong as the other members, shot down the arguments by the defence counsel and admitted the hard drive into evidence.

Justice Amaliba, who read out the highlights of the court’s position in open court yesterday, said the prosecution witnesses had made reference to the exhibits, adding that the evidence on the hard drive was relevant for the determination of the case.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the communication was recorded without warrant, we find the communication admissible,” Justice Amaliba said.

She said considering the seriousness of the charges, it was in the public’s interest to admit the videos and audios.

“All objections relating to breach of rights, including recording without warrant, have no merit,” Justice Amaliba said.

The court held that the third prosecution witness admitted he recorded the said videos.

The presiding judge said the detailed ruling would be made available to the parties today.

Not guilty

The 10 are in court for allegedly taking part in the activities of Take Action Ghana (TAG), a non-governmental organisation, accused by the prosecution of planning to destabilise the country to take over the government.

The accused persons include Dr Frederick Mac-Palm, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu (a fleet manager), Johannes Zikpi (a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces) and Donya Kafui, aka Ezor (a blacksmith).

The rest — Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon and Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine — are all soldiers.

ACP Dr Agordzo and Col.Gameli have pleaded not guilty to abetment of high treason, while the rest have pleaded not guilty to high treason and conspiracy to commit high treason.

Source:Graphic Online

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