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09.12.2006 General News

Cocaine Case: Interpreters Secured For Foreigners

By times
Cocaine Case: Interpreters Secured For Foreigners
LISTEN DEC 9, 2006

THE Accra Fast Track High Court has now secured the services of Chinese and Korean interpreters for three expatriates charged together with three Ghanaians for their involvement in the disappearance of 76 parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin at the Tema Port.

The trial could not proceed on two previous occasions because Pak Bok Sil, 46, a Korean engineer Cui Xian Li, 44, a vessel engineer and Luo Yin Xing, 49, a sailor, both Chinese claimed they did not understand English.

Presiding Judge Justice Annim Yeboah had earlier insisted that he would only take the plea of the accused only when their interpreters are in court.;

With the presence of two interpreters, a Ghanaian for the two Chinese and a Korean for Bok Sil the court took their plea.

The three Ghanaians in the dock with the expatriates, are Joseph Kojo Dawson, 34, owner of the vessel; Isaac Arhin, 49, a sailor and Philip Bruce Arhin, 49, a mechanic.

Dawson pleaded not guilty to one count of using his property for narcotic offences while Bok Sil pleaded not guilty also to one count of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs.

Isaac Arhin, Bruce Arhin Li and Xing, each pleaded not guilty to two counts of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

The court remanded the accused persons into prison custody until December 12, when the prosecution will bring their first witness.

Before the adjournment Xing told the court that the Chinese wanted their embassy to get them legal representation.

But the judge said the offence for which they were being tried did not give the court the powers to make such orders to the embassy.

Xing said that they had enough money back home in China and wanted the court to assist them to get the money to engage counsel.

The judge then suggested to the investigator to explore ways of helping them.

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