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The trial of the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, was yesterday adjourned by the Accra High Court to May 18, this year because a key witness was indisposed.
Chief Inspector Bernard Bekoe, the investigator, was expected to mount the witness box yesterday to be cross-examined by lawyers of Mr Ofosu Ampofo.
The trial will continue in the court of Justice Samuel Asiedu, a justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as a High Court judge.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo and Mr Kwaku Boahen, a Deputy Communications Officer of the NDC, are standing trial over a supposedly leaked tape in which a voice, said by state prosecutors to be Mr Ofosu Ampofo’s, was heard inciting NDC supporters to perpetrate violence against the leadership of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Peace Council (NPC).
The two have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit assault against a public officer, while Mr Ofosu-Ampofo has separately pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault against a public officer. Lawyers for the NDC National Chairman have argued that the purported leaked tape, said to contain their client’s voice, was doctored, while Boahen has also presented an alibi, arguing that he was not even at the said meeting on February 3, 2019 where Mr Ofosu Ampofo is said to have made the supposed inciteful comments.
During his evidence-in-chief in December last year, Chief Inspector Bekoe, who is a prosecution witness, testified that the voice on the leaked tape and that of another recording of Mr Ofosu Ampofo were sent for forensic analysis, and the results proved that the voices in the two recordings were the same.
“Per the report from the experts, there is a 90 per cent probability that the voice of the first accused, Mr Ofosu Ampofo, is the same in both recordings. This, therefore, means that the voice on both audio recordings is that of the first accused (Mr Ofosu Ampofo).
“There is also an 85 per cent probability of coincidence of speech features and defects. It was explained to me that certain words such as ‘people’, ‘officer’, and ‘police’ were also pronounced the same in the two recordings,” he added.
On the alibi by Boahen, Chief Inspector Bekoe said his investigations showed that although some people, including Mr Boahen’s mum, had told the police that he (Boahen) was at Bomfa Achiase on February 3, 2019, other investigations showed otherwise.
According to the prosecution’s facts, following the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election which was characterised by violence on January 31, 2019, Mr Ofosu Ampofo met with some NDC communicators on February 3, 2019.
The facts explained that at the said meeting, Mr Ofosu Ampofo and Mr Boahen mapped out a strategy of criminal activities, including violence against the EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, and the Chairman of the NPC, the Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante.
It said an audio recording of the said meeting was leaked, leading to investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service into the comments on the tape.
The prosecution added that on February 20, 2019, Mr Boahen granted a radio interview in which he confirmed his participation in the meeting and also revealed that the leaked audio recording was a true reflection of what had transpired at the February 3, 2019, meeting.