Woman in alleged coup plot refused request for changes in bail terms

The only woman among the ten accused persons standing trial for an alleged coup against President Akufo-Addo, has been refused a bail variation request.

WO II, Esther Saan, was seeking the court to ease the restriction after she was granted bail last year. She is not allowed to go anywhere without a military escort neither is she permitted to travel, among other conditions.

She wanted some of the conditions attached to her bail removed.

Being a soldier, the terms of her bail are supervised by the military. She is kept in military quarters and is allowed some visits. She cannot however reciprocate any visit of any kind.

Counsel for the accused had applied for a bail of variation to allow the accused visit her family members.

But the court declined an application for variation of bail.

The state orally opposed the application for variation of bail, arguing that it is a normal practice.

The soldier, along with the other accused persons, have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, treason, abetment of crime, possession of arms, ammunition and explosives without lawful excuse.

The accused persons include; two senior officers of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Samuel Gameli, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ACP) Benjamin Kwasi Agordzor, Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive of Citadel Hospital and others.

Meanwhile, all ten persons plead not guilty to all six counts at the Accra High Court presided over by Samuel Asiedu on Friday.

The facts of the case, as presented by Ms Hilda Craig, were that the accused persons plotted to destabilise the country and overthrow the government.

She claimed that, as part of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm, who is accused of being the mastermind of the plot, Kafui and Debrah planned on kidnapping the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief of the Defence Staff and force the President to announce his overthrow.

“Again, there were discussions on whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government,” she said.

The prosecutor added that in June 2018, the security agencies picked up intelligence that the accused persons, had planned to overthrow and take over the government.

According to her, as part of the plan, Col. Gameli recruited Zikpi, who was a signal specialist with the GAF, to help jam the radio signals of the National Communications Authority.

The ten had planned to jam all radio stations, with the exception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

The prosecutor said in furtherance of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm invited Kafui, who was a blacksmith at Alavanyo, to Accra, to manufacture explosives and pistols for the group.

With regard to ACP Dr Agordzo, Ms Craig said he donated GH¢2,000 to aid its cause and also drafted a speech for Dr Mac-Palm to be read at the planned demonstration.

The case has been adjourned to October 15, 2020.

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