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06.02.2006 General News

Amoateng’s counsel denies $6m bail claim

By Graphic

The counsel for Eric Amoateng, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North who is facing narcotic charges in the United States of America, Mr Dennis Adjei-Brenyah, has denied contacting the government of Ghana or any agency of the government for any help with regard to the case.

“Let it be stated, with all deliberate emphasis and with total and due allegiance to the truth and only the truth, that I have never ever contacted the government or any agency thereof for any help whatsoever regarding any aspect of this case, including bail issues,” he stressed.

A statement signed and issued by Mr Adjei-Brenyah said he had learnt with shock and displeasure some statements attributed to him regarding bail and the process of securing bail for Amoateng.

“I have learnt with extreme displeasure a statement to the effect that I have contacted the government of Ghana (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to help in raising bail money for Eric Amoateng,” it said.

It said although Amoateng might be important within the political and social milieu at play in Ghana, “the government is not, has not and will not be part of any defence of this case”.

“I have never contacted the mission by phone or letter or any form of known communication means for any assistance in this matter and the government has not made any attempt, even remotely, to contact me on any aspect of this matter,” it said.

It said the issue of bail for Amoateng had not even been raised yet, stressing that within the perspectives of the American Law generally applicable with regard to bail, it was going to be extremely difficult to procure bail because of the transitory status of the defendant and the nature and substance of the allegations filed against him, stressing “no family ties to the jurisdiction, no community affiliation to New York, no outward assurance that bail would be appropriate”.

It said notwithstanding the difficulty level of bail application in the circumstances at hand, it was still the obligation of counsel to forcefully and tactically do whatever was possible to advance the client's interest.

It said it was against that background that he had expressed the desire to explore any possible avenue, “including an ankle bracelet, as is often done here, and explore the feasibility of getting a letter, just a letter, from the Ghana Mission to assure the court that if (and when) bail is granted to Amoateng, he would show up in court at the next adjourned date”.

The statement said he (counsel) had not even executed the initial thoughts 'to explore' those options yet, adding that when he initially raised the bail arguments before the District Court, the Honourable Judge, David Trager, directed that all arguments for bail be presented before the Magistrate Judge.

“Thus, at this time, there has been no argument presented for bail for Eric Amoateng yet and consequently no bail has been set in any amount in this matter,” the statement explained, adding, “I do not have the slightest idea where this mystical and mythical $5 million that is reported to have been the bail amount came from.”

The statement explained that the reason application for bail was warranted was predicated upon the view of the underlying facts themselves.

It said counsel had never underestimated the seriousness of the charge but firmly believed in the well established distinction and integrity of Amoateng.

“It is my humble submission that any principled regard to the finer principles of journalism and a wholesome regard to the facts, and only the facts, should dictate that whoever was the source of the myth and gross misreporting should come clean,” it stated.

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