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21.05.2004 General News

Juror testifies in Interpreter's bribery case

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Accra, May 21, GNA - Amadu Husein, a juror, on Thursday told a Circuit Court in Accra that Ahmed Abubakar, a court interpreter, sought his assistance to influence other jurors in a murder trial before a High Court in Accra.

He said Abubakar told him that the relatives of two persons standing trial in the case were ready to offer each of the seven jurors five million cedis so that they would "turn the verdict in their favour."

He was testifying in the case in which Abubakar, an interpreter at an Accra High Court presided over by Mr Justice G. A. Aryeetey, is standing trial for allegedly collecting 21 million cedis from the family of Francis Tetteh Yartey and Tetteh Yartey to influence the Jurors. The two were sentenced to death on April 1, 2004 for murder.

Abubakar has pleaded not guilty and is on an 80 million cedi bail with three sureties to be justified. He will re-appear on June 8. The Court was told that the jurors had been alerted that there was an attempt to influence them with money so when Abubakar brought the money they feigned interest.

Led in evidence by Police Superintendent Mrs Elizabeth Alormatu, witness said when the murder trial began, Abubakar approached him (Amadu) claiming that Francis Tetteh Yartey, one of the convicts had contacted him and sought his assistance to influence the jurors to "turn the verdict in their favour."

Amadu told the court presided over by Mr. Williewise Kyeremeh that Abubakar had informed him that Tetteh Yartey was prepared to offer the seven jurors five million cedis each.

Amadu said the next day he summoned all the jurors and briefed them on what had transpired between him and Abubakar.

He said they informed Justice Aryeetey, because the judge had earlier warned them that two elderly men had approached him with "an envelope" to seek his assistance in the case but he rejected the offer. Amadu said Justice Aryeetey advised them to feign interest but to continue to deal with Abubakar and Yartey.

He said the seven jurors went ahead to delegate two of their members, James Afari and Samuel Ayikwe to continue to deal with Abubakar and Yartey.

Amadu said the two jurors later told him that Francis Tetteh Yartey made an initial payment of 3 million cedis through Abubakar, which they showed to Justice Aryeetey who in turn asked them to keep it. He said he was again told that Abubakar brought a second instalment of seven million cedis bringing the total amount at the time to 10 million cedis.

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