Ofosu-Ampofo Trial: Witness denies statement attributed to him
The trial of the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and the Communications Officer of the NDC, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, has begun amidst multiple controversies.
The State led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa today January,29, 2020 called their first witness. The witness identified himself to the Court as Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei. He also indicated to the Court that he works with the Multimedia group (Adom FM) as an Akan newscaster, reporter and a sit-in host for the morning show in the absence of the regular host.
The controversy started when the witness told the Court presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge that the witness statement filed by the state was brought to him by a Police Officer and without reading it he signed same. The witness sought to distance himself from the witness statement that has his signature on it, a development that took the Court aback.
Defence lawyers led by Tony Lithur raised objection to the adoption of the witness statement noting that per the practice directions issued by the Chief Justice, the witness statement does not meet the laid down rules for same to be adopted.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa in a swift response to the claim of the defence team and her witness noted that the witness statement was prepared out of the Police Investigation statement written by the witness and same has been signed by the witness.
Justice Samuel Adjei Court ruled adopting the witness statement. He explained that since the witness statement has been signed by the witness and he has gone ahead to identify same, it is enough for its admissibility.
The tendering of an audio recording of an interview the witness had with Mr. Kwaku Boahen was the next controversy. The DPP requested that if same is tendered she will like it to be played to the hearing of the Court. The Court hinted that it has not readily got the facility to play the recording to the hearing of the Court at the current sitting but will make arrangements for it to be played at the next sitting.
Justice Samuel Asiedu’s Court adjourned sitting to the 5th of February 2020 for hearing to continue.
The two NDC officials have been charged in respect of the infamous leaked tape and are being tried at a Commercial Court in Accra presided over by Samuel Asiedu. The tape is said to have captured how the NDC is allegedly planning to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Amongst the alleged strategies are the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings and arson, and verbal attacks on public officials like the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and the Electoral Commission boss, Jean Mensa.