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25.03.2004 General News

Sherry and two others to re-appear at FTC

By GNA

Accra, March 25, GNA - An Accra Fast Track Court has adjourned to Thursday, April 8, a case in which Hanny Sherry Ayittey, Treasurer of the 31st December Women's Movement, and two others are standing trial for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices in the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) privatisation case.

The Court presided over by Mr Justice J. C. Amonoo-Monney, a Court of Appeal Judge with an additional responsibility on the case as a High Court Judge, explained on Thursday in Accra that "the adjournment is in respect of stay of proceedings to be determined by an Appeal Court".

The other accused persons are Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, former Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) and Ralph Casely-Hayford, a Businessman.

They were all alleged to have influenced the DIC Board to divest GREL in favour of Societe Industrielle des Plantation Hevea (SIPH), They have all denied the various corruption charges and the Court has granted them self-recognisance bail.

Madam Sati Dorcas Ocran, a Housewife, who was in the dock with them, was acquitted for lack of evidence.

When the case was called on Thursday, Mr David Tetteh, Counsel for Casely-Hayford, the third accused, held brief for Mr David O. Lamptey and Mr Johnson H. Senoo, Attorneys for Sherry Ayittey, first accused, and Amuzu Agbodo, second accused, respectively, who did not appear.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Lamptey, Mr Tetteh told the Court that "application of stay of proceedings was being heard by the Court of Appeal, which had adjourned to March 31".

Mr Tetteh said Amuzu Agbodo's appeal was partly heard, and that he was asked by the Court of Appeal to produce certain documents, adding his appeal was adjourned indefinitely.

He later told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that his client, Casely-Hayford," had already addressed the Fast Track Court, to close his case", and that the Fast Track Court was waiting for the outcome of the Appeal Court's determination of the two appeals before it.

The Fast Track Court had earlier ruled that Sherry, Agbodo and Casely-Hayford had a case to answer on various corruption charges. Sherry and Agbodo, therefore, filed the motions at the Appeal Court for stay of proceedings and no case to answer, but Casely-Hayford decided to open his defence.

Mr Justice Amonoo-Monney had acquitted Sherry on three counts that accused her of receiving monies totalling 270,000 dollars and 25 million cedis from Dr Albert Owusu Barnafo, a Consultant of GREL, to allegedly influence her, in her vote in the divestiture of the Company in favour of SIPH.

Agbodo is alleged to have received 15 million cedis from Dr Banafo to influence him in the divestiture of GREL.

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