18.08.2009 General News

Counsel to review seizure of Asabee's passport

18.08.2009 LISTEN

Accra , Aug. 18, GNA - Nene Amegatcher, Counsel for Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former Minister of Information and National Orientation and his wife Zulieka Jennifer Lorwia on Tuesday said he would apply for a review over the couple's passport seizure by the court.

The Court as part the bail conditions yesterday asked Asamoah Boateng and Zuleika to deposit their passports with the Court's Registry and said "the requirement of the passport would be reviewed after two months".

The court, presided over Mr. Justice Charles Quist said he was mindful of the attempts made by Mr. Asamoah Boateng and his wife to travel outside the country and the fact that they had been prevented by security agencies from travelling.

Nene Amegatcher told journalists that he was going to put in an application in respect of the couple's passports.

He noted that in the past, the court did not ask public officials who were tried by the court to deposit their passports and questioned why the court must collect passport as part of the bail conditions.

"Public officials who were put before the court some time ago were not asked to deposit their passports, they were allowed to travel, why the change now?" Nene Amegatcher asked.

The couple and six other public officers last Monday appeared before an Accra Fast Track High Court charged with conspiracy to defraud the State.

Also in court was a non-legal entity firm, Supreme Procurement Agencies Limited (SPAL).

The accused are alleged to have conspired to defraud the state of GH¢86,915.85 as a result of renovation works carried at the Ministerial Block of the Ministry during Mr. Asamoah Boateng's tenure.

The officials include Frank Agyekum, former Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, Dominic Aloysius Yaw Sampong, former Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Kwabena Denkyira, former Director of Finance and Administration of the Ministry and Prosper Arku of SPAL.

Yasmine Domua, an accomplice, was, however, not in court. The prosecution who substituted the old charge sheet with a new one, however, intimated that efforts are underway to get her in court.

Asamoah Boateng, Zulieka, Kofi, Agyekum, Sampong and Domua are jointly charged for contravening the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.

Asamoah Boateng, Kofi, Agyekum, Sampong are also facing attempt to commit a criminal offence, namely defrauding by false pretences.

Kofi, Asamoah Boateng and Arku were additional charged for forgery of official documents and possessing forged documents.

Arku was additionally charged for uttering forged documents.

They have pleaded not guilty before the court presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist, amidst heavy security at the Supreme Court premises.

The court has admitted them to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 each with a surety each to reappear on August 27.