Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prosecution fails to produce witness in Woyome trial

February 13, 2013 (Page 3 Lead)

The state has, for the third consecutive time, failed to produce a witness in the trial involving a businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who is accused of defrauding the state to the tune of GH¢51.2 million.
A Chief State Attorney, Ms Cynthia Lamptey, yesterday told the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court that the state's witness  was out of the jurisdiction and had promised to be in the country on February 23,  2012.
Ms Lamptey, therefore, pleaded with the court to adjourn the matter to February 28, 2013 to enable the prosecution to have conference with its witness.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, obliged and adjourned the case to February 28,  2013.
At the court’s sitting on January 28, 2013, Ms Lamptey informed the court, “We should have brought a witness, but circumstances beyond our control made it impossible to do so.”
She, therefore, pleaded with the court to give the prosecution two weeks to produce a witness to testify on behalf of the state.
The trial judge obliged, making it the third time the prosecution had failed to send a witness to court five weeks after its fourth witness had testified in the matter.
Although yesterday marked the third time the prosecution had fallen short of bringing a witness to court, Ms Lamptey gave an assurance to the court that a witness would be in court at the next hearing.
Woyome was in court, together with his lawyer, Mr Osafo Buabeng.
A fourth prosecution witness, Ms Yvonne Quansah, who is stationed at the Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), testified on December 19, 2012.
Ms Quansah, who has since been discharged for completing her evidence in the trial, told the court that Vamed Engineering, which was represented by Woyome, was shortlisted, together with other companies, for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
Woyome is facing two counts of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.
The accused, who has denied any wrongdoing, is alleged to have made fraudulent claims to the government, resulting in the payment of GH¢51.2 million to him.
The three other prosecution witnesses who have testified in the matter are a Deputy Head of the Legal Department of MOFEP, Mrs Mangowa Ghanney; a former Minister of MOFEP, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu.
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