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26.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Court gives judgement in cocaine case on Wednesday

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Accra Oct. 26, GNA - An Accra High Court would on Wednesday, October 27, deliver its verdict in a case in which six persons are standing trial for smuggling 588.33 kilograms of cocaine into the country. The accused persons: Kevin Gorman, 59, an American; Mohammed Ibrahim Kamil, Ghanaian; John David Logan, 43, Frank Lavelrick 43 and Alan Hodson 45, all British and 45-year-old Sven Herb, a German 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. Gorman was further charged for using his property for narcotic offence.
The accused persons have all pleaded not guilty and have been in prison custody and if found guilty would each go to jail for not less than 10 years.
Prosecuting, Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, called 12 witnesses during the nine-month trial.
On September 14, this year, the Court presided over by Mr Justice F. Kusi Appiah, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting as additional High Court Judge, fixed the date after the Prosecution and Defence had filed their addresses to the Court.
The case for the Prosecution was that Gorman is a Director Shareholder and Operations Manager of a shipping company called Tuna To-Go Limited in Tema.
On January 7, the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Police Service raided the residence of Gorman and discovered bales and parcels of whitish substances suspected to be cocaine concealed in a specially constructed hole or compartment upstairs behind a large dressing mirror.
The Chief State Attorney said Gorman with Logan, Lavelrick and Hodgson, who were in the house with him (Gorman) at the time, were confronted with the substance.
Gorman said the bales and parcels were brought there for safe keeping by one Yakuba for a fee of 50,000 dollars.
The rest of the suspects including Herb, who arrived later denied knowledge of the substances.
Investigation indicated that on December 31, last year, Kamil delivered the bales or boxes of the suspected drugs to Gorman's house. Herb, who had earlier visited Gorman, assisted him and Kamil to off load the boxes upstairs.
Examination by the Ghana Standard Board has revealed that the whitish substance was cocaine.

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