An Accra High Court has put on hold proceedings in the case where a former board chairman of the National Communications Authority [NCA], Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, and four others are facing trial for causing financial loss to the state.
This follows an application by defense lawyers seeking to have the prosecution make known all witnesses they will be relying on, and also make available all the documents it intends to tender as evidence.
This was opposed to by the prosecution who argued that the request was seeking an interpretation of aspects of the Constitution, (Article 19 (2)(e) and (g)), a task that can only be performed by the Supreme Court.
[contextly_sidebar id=”8ebl6KWUwNcT6SeuM3qhKAJtOwHLLcGi”]Delivering his ruling, Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor said the issue of interpretation had arisen since lawyers on both sides disagree on the meaning of the relevant provisions, hence the need to refer the matter to the Supreme Court.
The questions expected to be addressed by the Justices of the Apex Court are whether accused persons are entitled to comprehensive trial disclosure, at what point this should be done, and whether the accused persons are entitled to all documents including those the AG may not use in court.
The case in question involves the former Director General of the NCA, William Tevie and four others, who have been arraigned for alleged fraud and for causing financial loss to the state over the alleged fraudulent $6 million contract signed between the NCA and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).
The five are said to have fraudulently withdrawn some four million dollars from NCA accounts without justification.
Reports indicate that an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited was contracted to supply the surveillance equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons believed to be engaged in terrorism.
IDL was also reportedly charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.
But the three, through the said contract, allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and have failed to account for it.
Only $1 million was allegedly paid into the accounts of the Israeli company.
So far, the NCA’s Director of Legal Affairs is one of the key witnesses to who has made an appearance in court.
By: Fred Djabanor/citifmonline.com/Ghana