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General News
MV Cocaine Trial: Policemen Heard In Camera 1/16/2007
Trial of the three Policemen alleged to have allowed Asem Dake alias Sheriff to cart 75 parcels of cocaine from MV Benjamin into two canoes at Kpone, near Tema, was on Monday heard in camera. This followed the Prosecution''s application made to the Fast Track High Court to allow them take evidences of some witnesses in camera to ensure their safety.

Detective Sergeant Isaac Asante was originally standing trial with General Sergeant David Nyarko; Detective Lance Corporal Dwamena Yabson and General Lance Corporal Peter Bondorin. Nyarko, Yabson and Bondorin are now being held on charges of prohibited business and corruption by public officer. They have pleaded not guilty. A fourth Policeman, Detective Sergeant Samuel Amoah, is on the run.

He jumped bail after an Accra Regional Tribunal granted bail to him and his accomplices. According to Mrs Stella Badu, a Senior State Attorney the lives of the said witnesses would be in danger if they were allowed to give evidence in public. She said: "The lives of the witnesses are being sought for and to ensure their safety, the courtroom should be emptied". But Defence Counsel objected to the Prosecution''s application. Mr Mustapha Ahmed, who represented Nyarko, said colleagues of the accused persons, who stayed in the same barracks, had testified in court and their lives were not threatened and that there was no justification. "If they are fishermen, why should they be afraid? Is it because they are going to lie to the Court?" Mr Ahmed asked.

Objecting to the Prosecution''s application, Mr Dei Kwarteng, Yabson''s attorney, said the State had the responsibility of protecting witnesses. "The State should be able to take care of the witnesses." The Court presided over by Mr Justice Anin Yeboah granted the application. The case of the Prosecution is that in the earlier hours of April 26, 2006 MV Benjamin arrived on the high seas of Tema. The vessel was carrying 77 parcels of cocaine imported by one Sheriff Asem Dake. Soon after the vessel arrived, the parcels of cocaine were offloaded unto two canoes, which sailed to the Kpone Beach, near Tema.

Some fishermen, who spotted the canoes, became suspicious and called the owner. Sergeant Amoah, stationed at Tema Newtown, who was also informed, mobilized the other accused persons and together they proceeded to the Kpone Beach. At the beach, the accused persons looked on until Asem Dake offloaded the drugs into a four-wheel vehicle. The accused persons then followed the vehicle to Tema where Dake gave them some money to stop his arrest.

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