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Amoateng still in custody 5 days after being granted bail

The former Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng is still locked up in police cells because he has failed to meet bail conditions.

He was on Friday, August 8, 2014 admitted to a GH₵200,000 bail with three sureties, one to be justified after he was arraigned for possessing a forged passport.

Information gathered by the Daily Graphic as of 7:45 pm Tuesday from security sources indicated that Amoateng was still in custody because the documents produced by his surety had failed to meet the bail conditions.

The implication is that Amoateng would remain in custody until his surety is able to fulfil the bail conditions.

Meanwhile, he is billed to reappear before the court, presided over by Ms Vivian Ellen Amoah on August 26, 2014.

Jail term

Amoateng, who recently finished serving a 10-year jail term in the United States of America (USA) on a drug-related offence, however, pleaded not guilty to one count of possessing forged documents.

He was alleged to have travelled from the United States to Ghana on August 7, 2014, on a passport belonging to a female after serving his sentence.

The passport, according to the prosecution, was in the name of one Barbara Inkum and was issued on February 23, 2009 at a time when Amoateng was in prison in the USA.

Court sitting

At the court’s sitting in Accra on Friday, the judge declined the prosecution’s plea for Amoateng to be remanded but rather directed him to report to the police on Mondays and Fridays.

It also ordered that his passport be deposited with the registrar of the circuit court.

 

Plea for bail

Lead counsel for Amoateng, Mr Charles Puozuing pleaded with the court to grant Amoateng bail because he had a fixed place of abode and would co-operate with the police.

He said the law presumed an accused person innocent until proven guilty and assured the court that Amoateng had Ghanaian friends who would stand surety for him.

Counsel gave an assurance that his client would abide by any condition attached to the bail.

Prosecution

But the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Aidan Dery, opposed the defence team’s application for bail on the grounds that investigations were ongoing.

According to the prosecution, the accused person was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) around 9 p.m. and handed over to officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB).

Mr Dery told the court that Amoateng had not given a statement to explain how he obtained the passport.

He explained that the prosecution had to “rush” to the court to meet the mandatory 48-hour deadline imposed by the law on the prosecution to arraign accused persons.

Giving more grounds to the court to refuse the bail application, Mr Dery said the prosecution was yet to know Amoateng’s residence.

“There’s likelihood he may jump bail,” Mr Dery added.

Court grants bail

Declining to remand the accused person, the court held that it was untenable for the prosecution to “rush” in picking up suspects only to turn round to request that they be remanded.

It reminded prosecution that the accused person was innocent until proven guilty and consequently proceeded to grant him bail.

Facts of the Case

According to the facts of the case, Amoateng was on December 11, 2005 arrested in the United States for possessing heroin valued at $6 million.

It said Amoateng was tried, convicted and subsequently sentenced to a 10-year prison term and was released on July 30, 2014.

At about 2:20 p.m. on August 7, 2014, Amoateng arrived at the Kotoka International Airport and during his arrival formalities, he was found in possession of a Ghanaian Passport with number H02347080.

It said an analysis of the passport by the Document Fraud Office of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) disclosed that the passport was a forged one with its bio-data page substituted.

Credit:Graphiconline.com

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