The bill of indictment in the case of some 10 persons who were arrested for allegedly planning to overthrow the government is ready and they are in the process of being filed by the Attorney-General’s (A-G’s) Department.
Yesterday, the court presided over by Justice Ruby Naa Adjeley Quaison refused to grant the accused persons bail, making it the third time the suspected ‘Coup Plotters’ were being denied bail.
The bill of indictment contains the specific offences committed by the accused persons as presented by the Office of the A-G.
It spells out the nature of evidence gathered in the investigations, the offences involved and gives details of exhibits the prosecution intends to rely on for the trial if the accused persons are finally processed to be tried.
Appearing before the Accra High Court yesterday, Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, explained why the accused persons should not be granted bail since the bill of indictment was ready and the A-G had spelt out the charges to be preferred against them.
She said the document would be filed soon, adding that by the time the accused persons appear before the District Court on February 20, the court would have received the bill of indictment as filed.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Craig hinted that the A-G had advised in the bill of indictment that Gershon Akpah, a civilian working with the army who was one of the people accused in connection with the alleged coup plot, should be discharged.
Moving his application for bail, Victor Dzakpasu, counsel for seven of the accused persons, said the prosecution had told the whole world that the suspects were picked up based on 15-month intelligence gathering but five months into their detention, there was no progress in the matter.
He said there had been unreasonable delay in the trial and the prosecution could not continue to keep the accused persons in custody based on mere allegations.
The lawyer stated that the prosecution in opposing the previous two-bail applications had mentioned that investigations were ongoing but as it stood now, the docket had already been forwarded to the A-G for advice which he said meant that the accused persons could not interfere with investigations any longer as held earlier.
He also said that the prosecution had not supplied defence lawyers with any evidence to support the allegations levelled against the accused persons.
The prosecution led by Hilda Craig opposed the application, saying the defence counsel could not just push that the accused person did not have any case to answer in the matter.
She said the prosecution had reason to believe that the accused persons are likely not to appear for the trial, adding that the ‘dynamics’ of the case is ‘evident’ that the accused would not appear for the trial if they were granted bail.
The court refused the application on the grounds that the prosecution had brought formal charges against the accused persons and was ready to commence the trial.
She added that given the nature of the charges levelled against the accused persons, they were not likely to appear for the trial when granted bail.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak