General News of Thursday, 10 April 2008
Accra, April 10, GNA - A Medical Technologist who tested the urine samples of Thomas Osei, the man who drove into the President's car, on Thursday told an Accra High Court that the test on the accused was a presumption one. Mr. Johannes Bekker, Managing Director of Med-Lab, said after the initial test at the Lab. there had not been any further confirmation test to prove that the accused had cocaine in his urine. He said a gas chromatography kit would have gone a long way to confirm whether or not the urine test was sufficient enough to conclude that the accused had cocaine in his urine.
Mr Bekker said this during cross-examination by Mr. Kwame Boafo Akuffo, Counsel for Osei, at the ongoing trial in Accra. Mr Becker also said that there was no independent witness to confirm whether the urine sample brought to the lab for testing by Dr Brako, a medical officer at the BNI clinic, was that of the accused or not. Asked by Mr Akuffo why there was no chain of custody documentation to the urine sample of the accused, he said it was because Dr Brako was a medical doctor and there was no need for him to be briefed on any chain custody documentation. Mr Bekker who was earlier led in evidence by Mr Edward Agyemang Doudu, Chief State Attorney, said he was in his office on November 15, 2007 when Dr Brako came and asked for alcohol test "but I said can only do urine test for them".
Mr Bekker started demonstrating how he told Dr Brako to use medical kit for the accused to volunteer his urine sample for the test. Mr Akuffo, however, raised objection to the demonstration by the witness on the grounds that the display would be prejudicial to the trial, which the court upheld. Mr Bekker said Dr Brako came back later with the accused and two policemen and he explained to them how he was going to do the test. He said he broke the seal of the medical kit in the presence of the four at his office, started the testing after which he showed the result to them. Mr Bekker said they conducted a test for nine different drug substances but the sample tested positive for cocaine. He said his outfit issued the team with their official printout and he signed to confirm the test was done at Med-Lab. Osei, 51, a businessman, has been charged with five counts of motor traffic offences, use of narcotic drugs and failing to change ownership of a vehicle.
The charges are dangerous driving, negligently causing harm, driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to give way to presidential siren and the use of narcotic drugs. The President escaped unhurt. Osei has pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against him and is on remand. The case was adjourned to April 23.