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Asamoah Boateng's Trial - Court Declines To Charge Witness   
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The Accra Fast Track High Court trying Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, a former Minister of Information, his wife Zulieka and six others for conspiracy to defraud the state yesterday declined the request of counsel for the accused to charge a prosecution witness for complicity for his role in signing forged documents.

Mr Godwin Agbesi, the Marketing Officer of Supreme Procurement Agency Limited (SPAL), appeared before the court on November 14, 2011 as a prosecution witness and told the court that the Managing Director of the agency, Mr Proper Arku, who is the fifth accused person, requested him (Prosper) to sign a forged architect/engineers certificate for the payment of GH86,915.85 to Plexiform Ventures, which won the contract for the renovation of the Ministry of Information.

The court heard that the appropriate person to have signed the certificate was the quantity surveyor of SPAL and not Mr Agbesi, for which reason Nene Amegatcher, counsel for Mr Asamoah-Boateng and his wife, asked the court to charge Mr Agbesi for complicity.

When the case resumed yesterday, the trial judge, Mr Justice Charles Quist, ruled that it was not for the court to prefer charges against a person.

He said rather it was the Attorney-General who was mandated under the 1992 Constitution to exercise discretionary powers on who to prosecute.

The court said exercising that discretion had to be done in a fair and unbiased manner, in accordance with due process of the law, and that the discretion of the Attorney-General under the Constitution was deemed to be candid as to who to prosecute.

Mr Justice Quist stated that since the witness was still under cross-examination, it was only proper to allow the case to continue and adjourned the case to November 29, 2011.

The accused are alleged to have conspired to defraud the state of GH86,915.85 as a result of renovation works carried out at the Ministerial Block of the ministry during Mr Asamoah-Boateng's tenure as minister.

The other accused persons are Frank Agyekum, a former Deputy Minister of Information; Dominic Aloysius Yaw Sampong, a former acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Information; Kwabena Denkyira, a former Director of Finance and Administration at the ministry, and Prosper Arku of SPAL.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng, Zulieka, Kofi, Agyekum, Sampong and Domua are also jointly charged with contravening the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
Source: Daily Graphic

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