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22.03.2004 General News

Soussoudis before an Accra High Court

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Accra, March 22, GNA - Michael Soussoudis, an Economist, on Monday appeared before an Accra High Court charged with two counts of possessing military kits, equipment and accoutrement, explosives, firearms without lawful authority.

He pleaded not guilty before a seven-member jury.

Sousssoudis in the year 2001 was put before two separate circuit tribunals on similar charges but the cases were sent to the Attorney - General's Office for advice.

Following the advice from the A-G's Department, he was committed to stand trial at an Accra High Court.

The Court presided over Mr Justice G. A. Ayittey asked Soussoudis to be on his former bail granted by the lower courts.

The case for the Prosecution was that a team of Policemen acting upon a tip-off searched the premises of Soussoudis at house number 122 at Burma Camp in April 2001.

During the search, a quantity of explosives, military kits and magazines were discovered at the main building and the boys' quarters of his house.

Subsequently, the Military and the Police conducted a further search by using a detector for firearms.

Soussoudis volunteered additional information on the ammunition. The Prosecution said another search was conducted on him and some more weapons were retrieved.

During interrogation, Soussoudis could not offer any explanation. The Defence team led by Mr D.O. Lamptey denied the charges and said Soussoudis possessed valid licence issued to him by the Government. He said the original documents on the weapons were with the Cantonments Police.

"We have made strenuous efforts to get the original copies but they have refused to hand them over to us," Defence Counsel stated.

"We are, therefore, repeating our plea to the Prosecution to assist us to procure the original documents."

The Prosecution, however, stated that they were not aware of the Defence's assertion, but told the Court that they would ascertain the validity of the case for the Defence.

The case has been adjourned to Monday, April 5, 2004.

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