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11.12.2007 Crime & Punishment

Accused Turns State Witness

A Freight Forwarder, Kirk Patrick Akoto Bekoe, 28, who was charged with unlawful possession of narcotic drugs, has been discharged by the Greater Accra Regional Tribunal.

He was discharged by the tribunal on November 30, 2007, after the Attorney-General's Department had filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue with the prosecution.

However, Emmanuel Darkey, the exporter of the 60 cans of palmnut cream concentrate which contained cocaine meant for export to the United Kingdom is currently standing trial at the Fast Track High Court.

Bekoe is now a prosecution witness and has since testified against Darkey.

In his testimony, Bekoe informed the court that Darkey on October 13, 2007 brought 60 sealed and labelled tins of canned palm nut soup to his (Bekoe's) house at Madina, near Accra, to be added to a collection of food items for shipment to the United Kingdom.

According to him he was arrested by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) operatives while sorting out the various food items for scanning.

He said it was during interrogation that he informed the BNI officials that Darkey was the exporter of the consignment.

He denied knowing the content of the consignment. Hearing of the case continues in Accra on Friday, December 14, 2007.

Bekoe was discharged when his counsel, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, filed a motion for bail at the High Court.

The facts of the case are that acting upon a tip-off, security personnel proceeded to Bekoe's house and arrested him on October 13, 2007.

Upon interrogation, Bekoe mentioned Darkey as the one who brought the items to him for shipment to his (Darkey's) address in the UK.

According to the prosecution, Darkey was arrested on the same day and he (Darkey) claimed the sealed cans containing cocaine were given to him by a man called Michael Osei for shipment to the UK.

Darkey informed the security officials that there was no way he could have known that the contents of the sealed 60 tins were not palm nut soup as he was made to believe.

Story by Mabel Aku Baneseh