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20.02.2006 General News

Amoateng will file no case

By Daily Guide.

Counsel for the Nkoranza North MP, Dennis Brenya says defence counsel may file for a no case motion after the end of the status conference, involving the exchange of documents and materials by parties in the case reports the Daily Guide.

In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes, Mr Brenyah said the defence would file some dispositive motion after the process, since there is no concrete evidence pinning down his clients to the charge.

“ Much of the basis for the anticipated motion will depend on the nature and substance of the cumulative evidence, to the extent demonstrated by the discovery process. I'm not able to predict how quickly the District Judge will rule on any motion filed on behalf of Mr Amoateng.

In general, though, because the defendant is incarcerated (in Federal detention), the judges tend to rule rather speedily in response to any motion that may be dispositive of the case,” Counsel said in his letter to the Speaker.

The letter was also, copied to the leadership of the House including the First Deputy Speaker, Freddie Blay, Majority, Leader Felix Owusu Agyapong, Minority Leader, Alban Bagbin and the clerk of Parliament.

The Speaker last Friday referred the letter to the Privileges Committee of the House chaired by Freddie Blay.

Amoateng is scheduled to re-appear before a District Court Judge , David Tragger on Friday February 24, 2006 along with his accomplice, Nii Okai Adjei.

They are both facing one-count charge of conspiracy to transport and distribute heroin in the United States, contrary to Federal Law and both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The accused persons were arrested on November 12, 2005 at the JKF International Airport New York, for allegedly transporting heroin, with a street value of $6 million to the US. Two lawyers Adjei Brenyah and John Patten are representing the MP.

Mr Brenyah said unfolding events in the trial of the Nkoranza North MP, call for compassionate approach to the saga and that Parliament should not rush to pronounce his client guilty.

He insisted that Amoateng is innocent of the charge, until proved otherwise after the trial.

“ The very nature of our adversarial judicial process requires a lot of time. This is a familiar theme known to almost all in our Parliament,” he said.

According to Amoateng's lawyer, Judge Tragger is expected to review the status of the discovery including any disputed areas of concern, to the parties on Friday,” he said.

Even though the lawyer was of the opinion that the discovery process would not be completed by Friday, he however, said that if by that time, they concluded all discoveries; defence counsel might file the motion to dismiss the case.

In the event of the motion not succeeding, counsel explained that the judge would then set a firm trial date, which may not take long.

“I anticipate this trial to last no more than five days, perhaps three. It will be a jury trial,” he said.

“If, as we believe, the trial goes our way, Eric Amoateng will be acquitted and discharged and God willing, should be on the next airplane to Ghana,” he said.

However he said, in the unthinkable event that the MP was pronounced guilty, sentencing would be deferred for about two to three months, for what he described as 'probation report'.

After the report, sentencing will be pronounced. It is governed by the operating sentencing guidelines.

He said the issue of bail had not been abandoned, as defence counsel would still go ahead to secure bail for his client.