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17.08.2004 General News

High Court to fix date for judgement in cocaine case

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Accra, Aug. 17, GNA - An Accra High Court would on Tuesday, September 14, fix a date to deliver judgement on six persons in the 588.33 kilograms cocaine trial.

The Court presided over by Mr Justice F. Kusi Appiah, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting as additional High Court Judge, has, therefore, asked the Prosecution to file the address to the Court on August 30. The Counsel for the accused persons would file their responses on September 7.

The Court pronounced the dates after the Prosecutor, Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, had completed cross-examining Sven Herb, a 45 year old German and sixth accused person in the case.

The accused persons: Kevin Gorman, 59, American; Mohammed Ibrahim Kamil, Ghanaian; John David Logan, 43, Frank Lavelrick 43, Alan Hodson 45, all British and Herb have been charged with conspiracy and possessing 588.33 kilograms of cocaine without lawful authority.

Gorman, Lavelrick and Hodson were additionally charged for importing narcotic drugs without licence from the Ministry of Health. Gorman was further charged for using his property for narcotic offence.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and are in Prison custody.

Herb, who was led in evidence by his counsel Mr Kwablah Senanu, told the Court that he had lived in Spain for 22 years and had been moving in sailing boats on the Mediterranean Sea.

He said he had been visiting his wife and kids in Ghana since 2001. Herb denied sailing in any boat on the coast of Ghana.

Accused further denied that on December 31, 2003, he, an unknown white man, and four other blacks arrived at the Prampram Beach to offload boxes of cocaine.

Herb said on December 30, 2003, he left his house at Tema Community 11, at about 1500 hours and visited various drinking spots with some friends in the Tema Metropolis until 2000 hours when he returned home. Accused said when he returned, he eat, bathed and went out again at about 1030 hours with Andy, a friend to another drinking spot in Tema together with two girls where they stayed until 0400 hours the next day. According to him, he went to the house of one of the girls at Community Seven, where he stayed for some time.

"At about 0700 hours on December 31, he returned home to sleep and woke up between 1300 hours and 1400 hours."

Herb denied that he had been identified by sister agencies as one of the international traffickers operating in Ghana.

He further denied that he came to Ghana as a visitor but stated that he came to Ghana to visit his family especially his wife, who was expecting a baby.

Herb told the Court that he was arrested at Gorman's house when he went there to invite the other accused persons to celebrate the birth of his newborn baby.

He said when he was arrested, he was searched and he also led the Police to his house for further search.

He said the Police did not find any narcotic drugs on him or in his house.

Accused admitted knowing all the accused persons but denied conspiring with them to import narcotic drugs into the country and possessing narcotic drugs.

He denied that he knew the content of the boxes of cocaine allegedly retrieved from Gorman's house.

Herb in a cross-examination by Mr Gyambiby admitted picking Logan and Lavelrick on January 2 and 6, 2004, respectively, at the Kotoka International Airport to Gorman's house.

When asked how he got to know of Logan and Lavelrick's arrival in Ghana, Herb said it was Gorman, who informed him.

He said he picked them on his own behalf and on the advise of Gorman, whom he said was busy.

Herb admitted knowing 'Captain's Lodge' at Prampram Beach, adding he had been there three times with his wife.

He said he and his family visited 'Captain's Lodge' to eat and drink. Herb denied that on the early hours of December 31, 2003 he and Kamil delivered the first consignment of cocaine to Gorman's house.

Accused further denied that he and Kwame Boateng, the Fourth Prosecutions Witness, packed the boxes of cocaine into the Gorman's house.

Herb said his wife was delivered of her baby on January 5 and he only went to the house of Gorman on January 6 and 7, 2004 to inform the accused persons to celebrate the birth of his new baby.

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