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04.06.2007 General News

Konadu’s judge threatened

By The Independent

Sympathisers of former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, who is facing trial in a competent court of jurisdiction, have issued threats to the judge sitting on the case, Justice Baffoe Bonney.

The Independent was at the Supreme Court House last Friday, and could report that her sympathizers, who included National Democratic Congress party loyalists, issued verbal as well as written threats meant tor the presiding judge.

These sympathizers of the former first lady invaded the court premises like a mob, chanting abrasive songs and drumming in direct violation of the ban of drumming and noise-making by the Ga State.

By way of the rowdy songs they sang, the group of sympathizers who could best be described as a mob claimed that anybody that seeks that downfall of the Rawlingses and their allies will fall flat before their agenda comes to fruition.

Still outside some of the placards had inscriptions that read. "They will die one by one" and "Baffoe Bonney Beware."

Another incident that portrayed the crowd that came to the court premises to sympathise with Nana Konadu as a lawless lot was an incident in the court room while the court was in session.

While one of the lawyers was making a deposition and Justice Baffoe Bonney was listening with rapt attention two women opened the door, popped their heads and shouted, "Cocaine! Cocaine! Oseeyiee!"

Within the crowded courtroom one could hear the crowd in the hal1s rapping violently on the door so noisily as to distract attention.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and five others are on trial on charges of willfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the divestiture of the former GIHOC Cannery at Nsawnm to Carridem Development Company Limited, a company owned by the 31st December women's Movement

Meanwhile during the trial last friday, some journalists where also heckled. And most of these happened in the full glare of uniformed police personnel.

Again at the door into the courtroom body guards of former President Rawlings were inspecting the identity cards of journalists before allowing them entry.

Upon entry one could see Mr Rawlings sitting right inside the courtroom close to the door.

Within, the trial could not proceed as planned, because of disagreement over the prosecution's lack of surety over the number of charged to hold against the six.

While the prosecution had earlier announced its intention to replace the 30 counts charges against the former first lady and the five other accused persons with nine fresh counts, it came to court last Friday to announce that it would rather continue the trial with the 30 counts of offences.

The lawyers for the accused however objected on grounds that they had prepared themselves to start a new trial based on the proposed nine counts proffered by the prosecutiOn earlier.

The prosecution also cited the absence of one of the accused persons, Thomas Benson, a former Accountant of the Divestiture Implmentation Committee, as a reason why they could also not continue with the trial last Friday.

Mr. Owusu was also absent during the previous sitting when the trial was adjourned to last Friday. Justice Baffoe Bonney proposed to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr. Owusu if he fails to appear in court on July 9, which is the next trial date.

The other accused persons are Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, a former Executive Secretary of DIC; Kwame Peprah, a former Minister of Finance and former Chairman of the DIC, and Sherry Ayittey, Managing Director of Carridem Development Company Limited.

They six are variously charged with 30 counts of conspiracy of causing fmancial loss to the state running into billions of cedis, conspiracy to obtain public property by false statement and obtaining public property by false statement following the acquisition of state-owned GIHOC Carmery at Nsawarn by Caridem Development Company Limited.

The prosecution also states that the accused persons failed to complete payment of interests, which accrued on the purchase price of the cannery.

They have all denied the charges, and have been admitted to self congnisance bail.

Earlier on during process of the trial three other accused persons, all of them directors of Carridem, were discharged at the instance of the prosecution.

They are Georgina Okaitey, General Manager; Larry Adjetey, Director Secretary, and George Mould, a Director.

Source: The Independent