One of the lawyers representing the nine persons alleged to have plotted to overthrow the government has claimed that the rights of his clients in military custody are being abused.
According to Victor K. Adawudu, he is not allowed to have a private conversation with his clients any time he visits them.
The accused persons including the ring leader Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, a medical doctor, and proprietor of Citadel Hospital at Alajo, Accra, have been charged with high treason for their respective roles in the plot.
The lawyer told the Kaneshie District Magistrate in Accra that he is only allowed access when an officer of the Defence Intelligence Department of the Ghana Armed Forces is present, alleging that the said officer joins them during the conference and records the discussion.
He insisted that the action amounts to a breach of right to privacy and violates lawyer-client privilege.
The court earlier this month ordered that the soldiers among the nine (9) persons be kept in military custody following concerns by lawyers that the BNI officials were not granting them access to their clients.
The accused persons including three civilians and six military officers are being accused of planning to usurp the executive powers of the state.
Subsequent to their plans, they are alleged to have hired the services of a local gun manufacturer to produce improvised explosive devises (IEDs), guns and ammunition with which they intended to carry out their plans.
They are alleged to be members of a non-governmental organisation, Take Action Ghana (TAG), formed by Dr. Mac-Palm.
A civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, Gershon Akpa, who is a weapons mechanic, is alleged to have agreed to sell two guns to the ‘coup doctor’ at a cost of GH¢7,000. He took GH¢2,000 part payment but returned the money later because he could not supply the guns.
The civilians who have been accused are Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, a doctor and the alleged mastermind behind the coup plot, Donya Kafui, aka Ezor, a local weapon manufacturer (blacksmith) from Alavanyo, and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, aka BB or ADC.
The military officers caught in the alleged coup plot include a senior officer, Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar and one WO II Esther Saan, aka Mama Gee, of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) and also a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Force, Gershon Akpa.
The Kaneshie Magistrate Court presided over by Rosemond Agyiru had ordered that the military officers be remanded in the custody of the notary while the civilians be remanded in police custody.
The accused persons have been charged with possession of explosives, arms and ammunition without lawful excuse.
The prosecutor, ASP Sylvester Asare, yesterday informed the court he was not aware lawyers’ interactions with clients were being recorded.
Mr. Adawudu then reacted that he had written to the Director of Legal for the Armed Forces to complain about this and ASP Asare said he would follow up on the matter.
The magistrate hearing the matter expressed surprise at the submission by Lawyer Adawudu and asked that the prosecutor looks into the matter.
The case was adjourned to November 11.
SOURCE: Daily Guide