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Ato Essien, others to file submission of no case

Ato Essien, others to file submission of no case

The Commercial Division of the Accra High Court has ordered the Founder and former Managers of the defunct Capital Bank to ensure they file their submission of no case latest by May 25.
The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, made the order after the defence counsel for the accused persons, William Ato Essien, Tetteh Nettey, Fitzgerald Odonkor and Kate Quartey-Papafio, made the submission of no case request.

The request followed the prosecution’s indication on April 29 that it had closed its case.
His Lordship, in granting the prayer of the accused, said: “I will accede to the request by the lawyers for the accused persons to file written submission of no case to answer at the close of the case of the prosecution.
“Defence lawyers intend to exercise that right afforded by section 173 of Act 30 must do so before 25th of May, 2021. Upon service of the submissions on the prosecution, it is afforded 14 days to file response. I will adjourn to 10th June, 2021 for a clear indication as to the ruling of the court.”
Prior to this order, the court, on April 22nd, instructed the sixth prosecution witness (PW6), Donatus Kwesi Freitas, to remount the witness box upon a request by counsel for Fitzgerald Odonkor, in order for a document to be tendered through him.

Mr Odonkor’s legal representative, Justin Amenuvor, cross examined the witness on the document tendered through him, but was compelled to stop when PW6, upon answering a question said the withdrawal from the account by Capital Bank was not his focus.
The following are some questions (Q) and answers (A) from the counsel and PW6:
Q: You recall that when I was cross-examining you sometime in November, 2020, I requested for extract of minutes relating to the liquidity support that was granted to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG)?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Do you have extracts of the minutes here?
A: Subsequent to that hearing, we requested the Department responsible for the extract to trace copies of it for us to submit to the court. They have not been able to find the extract.
Q: You have, however, brought statements of Capital Bank at the BoG to the court, is that correct?
A: Yes, my Lord.
Counsel for 3rd Accused: My Lord, we would like to tender the document through the witness.
Prosecution: No objection.
Counsel: No objection.

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By Court: The statement of Capital Bank Limited with the BoG is admitted and marked as Exhibit ‘9’.

Q: Can you kindly tell the court the start date of Exhibit ‘9’?
A: My Lord, the start date, as indicated in the Exhibit, corresponds to specific dates that the transactions were effected.
Q: Can you give the date of the document you have with you?
A: Per the 1st page, the start date is 30th November, 2016.
Q: Does the document have any transaction relating to 25th September, 2015?
A: Yes, my Lord. That is on the last page.

Q: Can you decipher for the court and myself what that transaction is?
A: Yes, my Lord. That is the GH¢300,000,000.00 liquidity support that was granted by the BoG to Capital Bank.

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Q: Let me read the evidence of Sharon Okwaa Bouteng, paragraphs 5, 6 & 7 for you to show me where the transaction is on Exhibit ‘9.’ Read out.
A: My Lord, the evidence I have is on BoG’s liquidity support that was granted to Capital Bank. The disbursement or the utilisation of the support is by Capital Bank itself, and, therefore, I cannot identify any such transaction in that respect.
Q: Are you, therefore, telling this court that the statement is only in respect to deposits made by BoG into that account?

A: My Lord, it is not deposits, but it’s a loan granted, and, therefore, I can speak to the loan BoG granted to Capital Bank.
Q: These loans will appear as credit balances in the account, is that correct?
A: Yes, my Lord.
Q: You also agree with me that in order for Capital Bank to utilise the loan, there ought to be debit transactions, is that correct?

A: Yes, my Lord.
Q: You also agree with me that in order to show that a loan granted has been utilised, there has to be a corresponding credit and debit transaction on any statement?
A: Yes, my Lord.
Q: In your statement, Exhibit “9”, I am suggesting to you that there is, for example, no recording of the debit transaction; that should be around 28th September, 2015, I am putting that to you.
A: There are debit transactions on the account, but I can’t speak directly to the transaction you are referring to. But there are debits and credits transactions.
Q: I am further putting it to you that specific debit transactions have been redacted in Exhibit “9” that you have brought to court?

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A: My Lord, I did allude to the fact that statements were printed on specific dates that BoG credited Capital Bank with the proceeds of the liquidity support.
Q: I am further putting it to you that those portions have been redacted because you want to prevent the court from seeing them?
A: No, my Lord, my understanding was to present to the court statements showing evidence of the liquidity support granted to Capital Bank. My Lord, withdrawal from the account by Capital Bank was not my focus.

Counsel for 3rd Accused: My Lord, in the circumstances we will end the cross-examination.
Court: Any re-examination?
Prosecution: No re-examination.
Counsel: No re-examination.
Court: The witness is finally discharged.
Counsel for 1st Accused: My Lord, the prosecution having closed its case, we are praying this honourable court for time to file a submission of no case, we humbly submit.
Counsels: We associate with counsel for 1st Accused.

Court: I will accede to the request by the lawyers for the accused persons to file written submission of no case to answer at the close of the case of the prosecution. Defence lawyers that intend to exercise that right afforded by section 173 of Act 30 must do so before 25th of May, 2021. Upon service of the submissions on the prosecution, it is afforded 14 days to file response. I will adjourn to 10th June, 2021 for a clear indication as to the ruling of the court.

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