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General News
"Cocaine Tape" Fails Yet Again 3/22/2007
The much-talked-about secret tape recording of the conversation between Assistant Commissioner of Police Kofi Boakye, and some suspected drug dealers was yesterday played in court as promised, but the disappointment of the large audience soon became obvious.

Contrary to high expectation of the public, the tape, which took exactly one hour and two minutes (11:08 am to 12:10 noon) to play was of such poor sound quality that nothing was audible and many left the Fast Tract High Court room before proceedings ended.

The recording was originally to have been played on Monday but the compact disc player could not function, compelling the court to postpone it to yesterday.

Two of the people whose voices are supposedly on the tape, Kwabena Amaning, (popularly called Tagor) and Alhaji Issah Abass are being tried for their involvement in the missing parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin vessel at the Tema Port in April last year.

Tagor and Abass were among 14 people recommended for prosecution by the Justice Georgina Wood Committee, set up by the Ministry of the Interior to investigate the missing 76 parcels of cocaine and another quantity seized from a house at East Legon in Accra.

Tagor is facing four counts of conspiracy, engaging in prohibited business related to narcotic drugs, buying of narcotic drugs and supply of narcotic drugs while Abass has been charged with three counts of conspiracy, engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supply of narcotic drugs.

They have pleaded not guilty and are in prison custody.

Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, seventh prosecution witness, resuming his evidence told the court that he secretly recorded the voices of the accused persons and the others to enable him to authenticate their voices on the original tape recorded at Mr Boakye’s house by an unknown person.

He said that when he took over the case, as the investigator, he listened to the tape and realised that there were statements made by the accused persons that needed further investigation.

“From the statements made, I wanted voice expert to help identify who said what, so I discussed it with the Attorney-General who assisted us to seek the services of an expert from outside the country.”

Inspector Adaba further told the court that when he forwarded the tape to the experts, J.P. French Associates, a forensic speech and acoustic laboratory in the United Kingdom, they requested for fresh voice recordings of all the participants whose voices were on the tape for comparison.

“In order that the participants, including the accused persons, did not disguise their voices, I recorded them without their knowledge and forwarded them to the experts.

“I secretly recorded the voices of Tagor, Abass, Alhaji Moro, Kwabena Acheampong and ACP Kofi Boakye,” witness said.

At this point, Ms Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, applied to the court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to tender the new recordings in evidence.

The trial judge, Justice Jones Dotse of the Court of Appeal, obliged and adjourned to today but said, “I will now take absolute control over the pace of the trial since it is the court that takes the bashing for delays.”


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