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16.04.2004 Regional News

Court grants businessman bail

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Nsuta (Ash), April 16, GNA- The Nsuta circuit court near Asante-Mampong on Thursday, granted Nana Osei Bonsu, a businessman, whom a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, when he failed to appear before it, 200 million cedis bail with one surety to justify. Nana Bonsu, charged with fraud and breach of trust, pleaded not guilty and he will re-appear on May 5.

Mr Kwaku Paintsil, counsel for the accused, who escorted him to the court, apologised for his client's inability to be at court on the hearing day.

He explained that the situation was created by the fact that the date on the letter of summons indicated that his client was to appear on February 11, 2004 even though he was served with the summons on February 12.

The presiding judge, Mr Kofi Akrowiah, said the explanation by the accused was not tenable since it should have occurred to him that it was an error, which could easily have been checked if he wanted to. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr Emmanuel Arzah, the Mampong Divisional Crime Officer, told the court that one Mr Von Berg, a Dutch national who was partially based in Ghana, is the Director of Global Green Company Limited, growers of teak trees. He said following the policy of government to win investors, Berg came to Ghana and got to know Nana Bonsu and therefore made him the resident director of the Company.

ASP Arzah said Global Green thereafter asked the accused to acquire land to grow teak trees and return to the Netherlands. He said the accused later sent a message to Berg that he had made arrangements for the acquisition of 300 hectares of land at Bosomkyekye near Mampong.

Based upon that, the prosecutor said, Global Green sent him various sums of money totalling 39,000 dollars through the High Street branch of Barclays Bank Ghana Limited.

ASP Arzah said these monies were sent at the request of Nana Bonsu for the payment and registration of the 300 hectares of land and that the accused withdrew the money from the bank ostensibly for that purpose.

The prosecution said anytime the complainant asked Nana Bonsu to furnish the company with the lease documents, he told him that the documents were ready awaiting the signature of the Asantehene. The prosecutor said on January 29, 2003, Berg received a letter dated the same day from the Odikro and the Queenmother, Nana Pokuwaa Mensah of Bosomkyekye, threatening him not to step on the land any longer as it was leased personally to the accused

On the strength of the letter, ASP Arzah said Berg realised that all the monies he sent to the Nana Bonsu as a trustee were not used for the intended purpose.

He therefore reported the matter to the police.

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