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22.02.2007 General News

The cause of justice was not served – Abodakpi’s lawyer

By : The Enquirer

Mr. Charles Hayibor, counsel for the convicted Ex-Minister of Trade and Industry, Daniel Kwasi Abodakpi has observed that the trial of his client should not have traveled the length it did if it was about truth and justice.

In a publication carried by The Enquirer he argued that the ten-year jail term slapped on his client could not also have arisen in the first place had the matter been considered on merit since very porous evidences were brought before the court by the prosecution team.

The newspaper quoted him as saying that in his candid opinion the defence team should not have even gone to the extent of filing a submission of no case on the matter because it was clear from the beginning of the trial that Mr Abodakpi had not caused any loss to the state, stolen nor conducted himself in any fraudulent deal, therefore had no case to answer.

“The law says it is the prosecution that must establish beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of a crime. And any slightest doubt on the matter must lead to his acquittal,” he said.

Mr Hayibor who refused to give any political coloration to the trial last Tuesday insisted that there were “many gaps” in the evidence of the prosecution and that one needed not be a first year student of law to appreciate those gaps and throw out the case.

Giving an insight into the trial which the NDC described as “a political trial” orchestrated by the NPP government to decimate its opponents, Mr Hayibor explained that the ex-Trade Minister's case was about a Study Proposal into a science and technology park project.

According to him, there was an overwhelming prove that Mr Abodakpi and the late Victor Selormey in their capacities as Trade Minister and Deputy Minister for Finance respectively wrote and signed documents on the study proposal which was executed by Dr Fredrick Owusu Boadu.

However, the two men were wrongfully charged for conducting a Feasibility Study rather than the Study Proposal performed and for which the amount of $400,000 was paid for by the Ministry of Finance to Dr Boadu, he said.

According to the paper, Mr Hayibor who was brandishing several documents, including court proceedings said that based on a 'questionable' Special Audit Report conducted by a private accounting firm, Baffour Awuah and Associates, the prosecution team claimed that the two had caused the loss of $400,000 to the state because there had been a payment of $400,000 to Dr Owusu Boadu for no Feasibility Study done.

The defence team he said “proved beyond reasonable doubt” through one of the prosecution's own witnesses, Thompson K. Abubakar Bibilazu, an acting director of Management and Productivity Institute that indeed a Study Proposal had been conducted and that a Study Proposal and Feasibility Study were two separate things.

Source: The Enquirer

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