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General News of Monday, 6 December 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Coup trial: Defense counsel present evidence to challenge educational background of star witness

Staff Sargeant Awarf Sule Staff Sargeant Awarf Sule

Star witness in ongoing coup trial discharged from box

Coup trial witness didn’t acquire certificate from Bechem Business College, investigation reveal

Coup trial adjourned to December 7, 2021


Defense counsel for some accused persons in the ongoing attempted coup trial have pointed out disparities in the charges pressed against their clients and the dates of the evidence backing same.

Putting the prosecution's star witness, Staff Sargeant Sule Awarf, through cross-examination on Monday, December 6, 2021, the defense counsel pointed out that whereas the witness testified that the accused persons plotted and sought to overthrow the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo between 2018 and 2019, some videos used to support the claims as evidence were gathered in 2013.

Having accused the prosecution witness of manipulating his video evidence to incriminate his client, Lawyer Lamtig Apanga, representing one of the accused persons, on Monday asked the witness "is it the case that the entire alleged coup plotters wanted to overthrow the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo" to which the witness replied in the affirmative.

He further asked Sgt. Awarf "is it the same government that assumed power in 2017 and has been in power since" to which the witness once again replied in the affirmative.

"I put it to you that the videos were taken in 2013 when the government was not in power," the defense lawyer followed up.

In his response, the witness maintained that the plot by the accused persons to overthrow the government was hatched in 2018 and was targeted at the government of Nana Akufo-Addo to be specific, and not the government of former President John Dramani Mahama who was the one in power in 2013.

Making reference to the video evidence presented to the court by the witness, lawyer Apanga pointed out that the date of modification for the video files were somewhere in May 2013 to which the witness confirmed same.

"What was the day the video was modified" the lawyer questioned and the witness after confirming the date said May 20, 2013.

"I am putting it to you that it is not possible to record videos and audios sometimes in 2018 and 2019 and have them modified as has been shown from the evidence before the court in 3013," the defense lawyer said to the witness.

Sgt Sule Awarf responded saying "that is not true because in 2013 it was former President Mahama who was in power and the plot was against the Nana Addo government. And it was 2018 upwards."

The defense counsel then went ahead to present evidence to the effect that the witness who had testified that he attended Bechem Business College, and was awarded a Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery did not attend the school or receive the said certificate from the school.

The prosecution witness under previous cross-examination noted that he changed his name from Inusah Napor Sule to Kwadwo Awarf Sule.

But on Monday, lawyer Apanga Lamtig put it to the witness that he changed his name after performing poorly in his BECE and that he rather uses the certificate of one Kojo Awarf who attended Bechem Presbyterian Junior High School.

"It is because you performed badly at the BECE that you dishonestly used Kojo Awarf who attended Bechem Presbyterian JSS, his BECE results," the defense lawyer told the witness.

Staff Sergeant Awarf however rejected the claim by the defense counsel saying “that is not true.”

The witness was then asked “you told this court that you attended Bechem Technical Institute?” and he answered with “that is not true, I attended Bechem Business College (BeBisCo)

The lawyer then asked him “are you saying that you pursued your carpentry course at this institute?” and his answer was “yes my Lord.”

“You mean you undertook a carpentry course at a business college?” and he answered in the affirmative.

His answer was followed by a document of a search conducted by the defense counsel at the Bechem Business College which was tendered into evidence.

The witness asked to read the documents which said “based on the official search on one Kwadwo Awarf who claimed to be an old student of Bechem Technical School, there is no information on the student leading to the Diploma in Carpentry and joinery.

“There is no record of the student - Kwadwo Awarf and therefore the certificate that he is holding is not authentic.

“Awarding certificates of Carpentry and Joinery students comes from the Technical and Examination Unit under the Ghana Education Service.

“There is therefore no requisite records of Kwadwo Awarf on our records,” the document signed by the Principal of Bechem Business College and read by Staff Sargent Awarf Sule stated.

The defense counsel having exhausted their time then brought their cross-examination to an end and the court adjourned to Tuesday, December 7, 2021, for the testimony of the fourth prosecution witness.

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