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07.03.2007 General News

JAILED MP WEEPS

By Daily Guide
JAILED MP WEEPS

•Led Back To Nsawam

DAN KWASI Abodakpi, the jailed Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, who could not benefit from the President's amnesty yesterday, was unable to hold back his tears after court sitting, which adjourned his application for bail to March 12, 2007.

The trial judge, Justice S.T. Farkye, who jailed the former minister for 10 years last month, complained he was tired of being tormented.

Justice Farkye who was responding to a demand for adjournment for the MP's bail application by William Kpobi, a Principal State Attorney, said, “I won't say anything, because if I opened my mouth, they will take me out; so do whatever you want.”

Justice Farkye continued, “The way I have been tormented in this country, I have had enough”.

The crestfallen convict, before resuming his seat between two escorting prison officers, sighed and commented, “Oh this country!”

He was later seen in the company of a woman, believed to be a relation inside the courtroom who was also crying uncontrollably in the presence of other family members.

Attempts to get closer to catch a better glimpse of the scene attracted the attention of one of the prison officers who shouted at journalists, ordering them to leave the courtroom “because you will go and write nonsense.”

The family members of Abodakpi, some of who broke down in tears after the case was adjourned, descended heavily on the Director of Public Prosecutions, Miss Gertrude Aikins and the Kufuor Administration, describing it as the most inhuman government the world had ever seen.

They promised to pay back anytime their government returned to power, because the battle lines had been drawn.

Journalists were not spared either. Some of the MP's family members accused them of being in bed with the Government, while a reporter from Citi FM, a private radio station, was told by a certain woman that he was supporting the government, which was why he had worn designer shirts to court. She would see where he would get money to buy designer shirts when 'they' returned to power.

Mr. Kpobi, before the Judge reacted, told the court that Ms Gertrude Aikins, the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), had to travel at short notice, and had therefore asked him to pray the court for an adjournment of the case or let counsel for the applicant move the motion so that she would come and reply it when she arrived.

Charles Hayibor, counsel for Abodakpi was however of the view that the Principal State Attorney was very capable of handling the case in the absence of the acting DPP.

Nevertheless, the Judge said Mr. Hayibor had heard the State Attorney tell the court that he was not in the case, therefore, if Abodakpi's counsel wished the tape were played for him, it would be done accordingly.

Hayibor consequently gave up the argument with the Judge and agreed that the bail application be adjourned to March 15, 2007.

Abodakpi, the jailed MP, who was the deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in the National Democratic Congress ( NDC ) regime, was jailed last month for 10 years by the Fast-Track High Court for causing financial loss to the state, to the tune of $400,000 but had applied for bail, pending the outcome of an appeal filed against his judgment.

He was found guilty on all seven counts of conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretences and willfully causing financial loss, by Justice S. T. Farkye, who is an Appeal Court Judge, sitting with additional responsibilities as a High Court Judge.

In his judgment, the Judge noted that the accused person made a false representation to Ecobank, to pay for a feasibility study on the Science and Technology Park, which was never conducted.

The jailed MP was co-Chairman of Trade Investment Project (TIP), with the former deputy Finance Minister, Victor Selormey, now deceased and they had correspondences with a certain Dr. Owusu Boadi.

The series of correspondences made to Ecobank were in August 2002, but the investigator, during the trial, adduced evidence to prove that there was no correspondence in the Ministry of Trade and Industry logbooks, which the court found abnormal.

According to the court, the prosecution was able to prove to the court that the late Victor Selormey made payments of $400,000 to Dr. Owusu and the correspondence was between Dr. Boadu and Dan Abodakpi.

The court concluded that the amount which belonged to the Government was lost, hence willfully causing financial loss to the state was proved.

The trial started in 2002 with Victor Selormey who had also been accused of causing financial loss to the state, to the tune of ¢2.73 billion, but his death stood between him and justice.

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