NCA 5: You have made no case for our client to answer – William Tevie’s lawyers tells AG

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Lawyers for former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA) William Tevie have filed a motion of no case to answer with regards to his trial and that of four others over the purchase of cyber crime equipment from Israeli company Infralocks Development Limited.

The submission was filed after the Attorney General closed her case against the five accused persons.

The five, former NCA Board ChairEugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former DG William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, former Board member Nana Owusu-Ensaw, former deputy National Security Coordinator Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman and business man George Derek Oppong have been on trial for alleged improprieties in the purchase of Pegasus cyber surveillance equipment in 2015 for the National Security Secretariat at a cost of $4million.

Mr. Tetteh Tevie is facing eight counts of charges ranging from two counts conspiracy, willfully causing financial loss, using public office for profit, two counts of contravention of the Public Procurement Act, money laundering and misapplying public property.

Even though the state has presented six witnesses at the trial to prove its case against the accused persons, lawyers for the former NCA Director General in submission signed by Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe (Esq) are of the opinion that their client has no case to answer.

In a written submission filed on April 29, 2019, the lawyers strongly argued that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of William Tetteh-Tevie beyond reasonable doubt.

The lawyers believe the evidence submitted at trial through the six prosecution witnesses does not meet the prima facie standard required in criminal trials of the nature to which their client is being subjected.

Under the criminal trial procedure, the accused are expected to open their defence after the prosecution closes its case but lawyer Godwin Tamakloe and his colleagues say they can only open their defence if the state had made a case strong enough to secure a conviction of their clients.

They make the case that the state has failed to establish the guilt of William Tetteh-Tevie on the seven counts.

The former NCA DG is alleged to have been paid $150,000 to facilitate the contract to procure the system.

Mr. Tetteh Tevie’s lawyers in their submission of no case say the state failed to demonstrate during trial that such an amount was paid to him at any point in time.

They further denied that their client misapplied public funds to the tune $4million in procuring the system since the evidence provided by the prosecution established that the money was rightly spent to acquire the equipment and due process was followed in making the payments to IDL on behalf of the NCA.

On the charge of using public office for profit, lawyer Godwin Kudzo Tamakloe said the state provided no evidence either documentary or oral to back the claim considering the state failed to show that he received any amount from anyone in relation to the contract.

The legal team also described the procurement charges against Mr. Tetteh Tevie as vague and did not disclose sufficient information on the procurement breaches for which their client was to answer hence

They are also of the opinion that the AG failed to establish the alleged procurement breaches.

The first three counts against Mr. William Tetteh Tevie relates to Conspiracy to and willfully causing financial lose to the state.

Both charges according to the lawyers for the former NCA DG have not been established with the state failing to prove that the accused deliberately acted in a manner that cause the alleged financial loss.

They also questioned the motive of the prosecution witness whose was intended to prove the two counts.

Mrs Asafu-Adjei was made to take her accumulated leave as Director of Legal and Secretary to the Board of the NCA during the tenure of Mr. William Tetteh Tevie, a decision she said was “upset” with.

The lawyers see her testimony which related to events that occurred while he was on leave as a way of settling old scores against the former NCA DG.

The lawyers further drew the attention of the court to the testimony of the lead Investigator Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah suggesting that there is no proof that the Pegasus system was overvalued.

They cited the evidence of Col. Michael Opoku who admitted that the Pegasus system was not defective and was fully functional and indicated that at no point in the trial was evidence provided to show that the accused persons agreed to act together against the interest of the state.

Lawyer Godwin Kudzo Tamakloe and his colleagues are therefore convinced that the state has failed to prove the essential elements of the charges against Mr. William Tetteh Tevie.

They also described the evidence of the six prosecution witnesses as unsafe and unreliable for the court to use to convict their clients.

Story: Sena Nombo/Sharpnewsgh

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