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22.03.2007 General News

Curious Crowd Disappointed

Many people, including journalists, who thronged the Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday, keen on listening to the recorded conversation about the missing 77 parcels of cocaine, which took place in the house of ACP Kofi Boakye, got disappointed, because only a few portions of the recording were audible.

For the one hour and two minutes that the tape was played, the crowd, one of the biggest in recent court attendance, had to strain their ears in a fruitless effort to hear what transpired during the conversation.

That notwithstanding, the names of ACP Boakye, Kwabena Amaning, alias Tagor, Kwabena Acheampong, Alhaji Issa Abbas and Alhaji Moro Mohammed came up in the conversation where heated arguments were heard being made.

There were accusations and counter-accusations, as well as denials, whenever the name of certain 'goods', probably the missing cocaine, came up.

As the tape was being played, the accused persons, namely Tagor and Alhaji Abass, sat quietly but Tagor gazed at the wall in front of him and sometimes grinned.

The mention of a 'password' as well as 'the Colombian and Venezuelans' came up during the conversation. One of them also referred to himself as being a public officer.

The conversation, which is on a Compact Disc (CD), was admitted in evidence on Tuesday after the court ruled that the information on it was relevant to the trial.

After the tape had been played, the seventh prosecution witness, Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, took to the box and continued his evidence-in-chief.

He said after taking possession of the tape and listening to it, he realised there were other revelations by those involved in the conversation, which needed further investigations.

According to him, he investigated the statements made in the conversation, such as one by Alhaji Abbas that Tagor's driver, Nana Kofi Asare, had bought a house from Chris Asher.

“I was able to locate the house at East Legon in Accra”, he stated.

Inspector Abada said he further realised that he needed a voice expert in order to identify those who took part in the conversation and he exhausted all local probabilities to no avail.

He said he discussed that with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who assisted in getting J. P. French and Associates, voice experts from the United Kingdom.

The witness said the CD containing the conversation was forwarded to the experts who requested for a fresh voice recording of those who took part in the conversation to assist them in identifying who said what.

Based on that, he said, he secretly recorded the voices of those mentioned and forwarded them to the UK so that they did not disguise their voices.

The judge adjourned the case to tomorrow because the recorded voices which were to be tendered were not brought to court.

Tagor is facing four counts of conspiracy, engaging in prohibited business related to narcotic drugs, buying of narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs, while Alhaji Abbas faces two counts of conspiracy and supply of narcotic drugs.

They have pleaded not guilty to all the counts and have been refused bail by the court.

Story by Stephen Sah