Coup trial: ACP Agordzo files criminal appeal against orders to open defense
The Lawyers of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo have filed a criminal appeal to challenge the High Court’s order for him to open his defence in the ongoing alleged Coup trial.
Dr Agordzo who is one of the 10 persons standing trial for their alleged plot to overthrow the government, contends that the High Court “erred” with the order since “no prima facie case had been established by the prosecution.”
The senior Police officer had on April 24, 2021, pleaded not guilty to the charge of abetment when he was first arraigned together with nine others.
On July 25, 2022, a panel of three High Court justices presided over by Mrs Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe ordered him and nine others to open their defence in the ruling on a submission of no case.
It followed the closure of the State’s case after calling 13 witnesses to give evidence including seven soldiers.
Dissatisfied with the orders of the High Court, Dr Agordzo through his lawyers on Monday, August 15, 2022, filed a criminal at the Court of Appeal which is premised on four grounds as follows;
(a). The trial court misdirected itself/erred in law when it ordered the 10th accused person/Appellant (Dr Benjamin Agordzo) to open his defence when no prima facie case had been established by the prosecution against the 10th accused/Appellant.
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(b). The trial court erred in law when it failed to refer article 3(3)(b) of the Constitution (1992) to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
(c). The ruling and consequential orders are unsupported having regard to the evidence on records.
(d). Additionally grounds may be filed upon receipt of the records.
Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital and seven others are facing two charges to wit; conspiracy and excessive treason.
The other seven are Donya Kafui alias Ezor (A2), Bright Alan Debrqh Ofosu alias Bright Alan Yeboah (A3), Yohannes Zikpi (A4), Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan Dekuwine (A6), Cpl Seidu Abubakar (A7), Lance Corporal Ali Solomon (A8) and Cpl Sylvester Akanpewon (A9).
While Col. Samuel Kodzo Gameli (A5) and ACP Dr Benjamin Agordzo (A10) have been charged for abetment.
All 10 accused individuals have pleaded not responsible and have been granted bail while standing trial.
July 25 orders
On July 25, following the ruling on the submission of no case, the court ordered the 10 accused persons to open their defence to the charges.
This was after the panel presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe held that, a prima facie case had been established by the prosecution after calling 13 witnesses.
The panel which also includes Justice Stephen Oppong and Justice Hafisata Amaleboba ordered them to file a list of all witnesses they intend to call and also if they will require the help of the court to subpoena witnesses, they should indicate so.
The court further directed the accused to also file their personal witness statements by September 19, 2022.
The case has been adjourned to October 10, 2022, for Case Management Conference.