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Drama At Asabee Trial   
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DRAMA unfolded at an Accra High Court on Thursday when defense counsel for Kwabena Denkyira, the fifth accused person in the criminal trial of former Minister for Information, Stephen Asamoah Boateng demanded original copies of exhibits tendered in by the Chief State Attorney.

Anthony Obuor’s insistence that the prosecutor’s failure to produce original documents he had earlier demanded was hindering court proceedings, generated a heated debate between him and the Chief State Attorney, Anthony Gyembiby, forcing presiding judge Charles Quist to adjourn court proceedings for 30 minutes.

“My Lord, my learned senior colleague is pushing me to say something that he knows I won’t say. I don’t understand why they don’t want to give me the original copies which the witness says they have to help me compare them with what I have,” defense counsel had argued.

He also questioned why original copies of the exhibits in the hands of the defense have the Ministry of Information’s stamp embossed on them but some of those tendered in by prosecution do not have the stamps imprinted on them.

Chief State Attorney, Anthony Gyembiby continuously argued that the content was the same whether it had a Ministry of Information stamp on it or not so there was no need to delay the cross examination of the witnesses.

He added that some of the documents were with the Ministry of Finance and that this may have contributed to why they were not embossed with the stamp.

Head of Audit at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Godfred Agyapong during cross examination after the adjournment, accepted that government was not interested in where the GH¢86,915.85 was but was only after the process the transactions passed through.

He also could not tell the court why the document tendered in by prosecution as Exhibit Q does not have a Ministry of Information stamp on it.

When questioned about where the money in question was, he said it was first lodged in a Ministry of Information Account and later transferred to government chest.

After indicating that his interactions with Plexiform Ventures showed that the company was never paid, he admitted that the said GH¢86,915.85 never got lost.

Mr. Agyapong was testifying in the case in which Stephen Asamoah Boateng and seven others, including his wife, are standing trial for allegedly contravening the Procurement Act by not following due processes in awarding a contract amounting to GH¢86,915.85 to Plexiform Ventures for renovation work at the Ministry of Information.
He was part of a team of four investigators who investigated the instant case.
The case will continue on October 12, 2011.

Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, together with his wife and the others, is standing trial for allegedly conspiring to contravene the Procurement Act by not following due processes in awarding a contract amounting to GH¢86,915.85 to Plexiform Ventures for renovation work at the Ministry of Information.

The other accused persons are Zuleika Jennifer Lorwia, Frank Agyekum, his Deputy Minister of Information, Kofi Asamoah Boateng, former Director of Finance and Administration, Dominic Yaw Sampong, Acting Chief Director, Kwabena Denkyira, Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, Yasmine Domua, Manageress, Prosper Aku of Supreme Procurement Agencies and the company, Supreme Procurement Agencies Limited.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail.

Source: Henrietta Abayie

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