An Accra High Court is set to hold a mini trial to determine the admissibility of a police caution statement obtained from Donya Kafui, aka Ezor, the blacksmith among the 10 people standing trial for allegedly planning to overthrow the government in a coup.
The prosecution through its 13th witness had sought to tender the caution statement and further caution statement in evidence, but the move was opposed by Victor Adawudu, counsel for the accused person, who argued that the statements were not taken voluntarily.
According to him, the statement dated September 22, 2019 and November 29, 2019, were not made by the accused, who he said is an Ewe who was born, bred and continues to live in Alavanyo in the Volta Region, and there was no way he could have given the statements in the Twi language.
He also argued that there was no independent witness when the investigator was taking the statement from Ezor, adding that the purported independent witness as claimed by the prosecution did not read the statement over and explained its content to the accused person in Twi language.
Mr. Adawudu added that Ezor is an illiterate, and the absence of an independent witness sins against the provisions in Section 120 of the Evidence Decree, adding that the cautioned statement was thumb printed under duress.
The objection was opposed by the prosecution led by Winifred Sarpong, a Principal State Attorney, who argued that the investigator knowing the magnitude of the case he was investigating made sure that he went by the book in obtaining statements from all the accused persons, including Ezor.
She said Ezor gave his statement voluntarily in the presence of an independent witness, adding that the investigator made sure that there was always an independent witness whether the statement was a confession or not.
Mrs. Sarpong told the court that Ezor spoke impeccable Twi, and same was taken down in English and was read over and explained to him by the independent witness in two languages, after which he thumb printed on his own.
She also refuted claims that Ezor is an illiterate, arguing that the accused was heard speaking English to Sgt. Awraf Sule, the prosecution’s third witness in the tapes that were played in the courtroom.
A three member panel of the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe and assisted by Justices Hafisata Amaleboba and Stephen Oppong, last Monday adjourned the case to begin a mini trial.
Meanwhile, the court has admitted the caution statements and charge statements of Dr. Frederick MacPalm into evidence.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak