TWO FORMER GHANA MINISTERS AND A FORMER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE RULING CONVENTION PEOPLE'S PARTY, WERE ACQUITTED YESTERDAY, (MONDAY), IN ACCRA, OF CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TREASON AND ACTUAL TREASON.
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The High Court Building in Accra, Ghana, where a special court yesterday, (Monday), acquitted two former ministers and a top political official on charges of conspiracy to commit treason and actual treason. Two others, including a former Member of Parliament, were convicted and sentenced to death.
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Maximum security precautions were in force when the special court hearing the charges convened for the judgement sitting. The three judges took five hours to deliver the judgement. The two convicted men, Robert Benjamin Otchare, and Yaw Manu, were not sentenced until the complete judgement had b read.
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The trial followed the attempted assassination of President Nkrummah last year. There is no appeal against the death sentences, expect for clemency to President Nkrummah himself. After the court adjourned, the five men were driven back to the Fort Ussher prison.
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Background: TWO FORMER GHANA MINISTERS AND A FORMER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE RULING CONVENTION PEOPLE'S PARTY, WERE ACQUITTED YESTERDAY, (MONDAY), IN ACCRA, OF CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TREASON AND ACTUAL TREASON.TWO OTHERS WERE FOUND GUILTY AND SENTENCED TO DEATH.
THE VERDICTS WERE GIVEN BY THE THREE JUDGES OF THE SPECIAL COURT IN A FINAL SITTING WHICH LASTED MORE THAN FIVE HOURS.THE PASSING OF THE DEATH SENTENCE ON THE TWO CONVICTED MEN BRINGS TO SEVEN, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOLLOWING AN ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF PRESIDENT NKRUMAH, AUGUST, LAST YEAR.
THOSE ACQUITTED WERE TAWIAH ADAM OF FORMER MINISTER OF INFORMATION; AKO ADJEI, THE FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER; AND, H.COFIE-CRABBE, FORMER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE CONVENTION PEOPLE'S PARTY.THE TWO WHO WERE CONVICTED AND GIVEN THE DEATH SENTENCE WERE ROBERT BENJAMIN OTCHERE, A FORMER OPPOSITION UNITED PARTY M.P.; AND JOSEPH YAW MANU, AN ONE TIME CIVIL SERVANT.
ALL FIVE OF THE MEN HAD PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO THE CHARGES.THE TRIAL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 9, AND THE COURT SAT FOR 15 DAYS.IT HEARD 42 WITNESSES, 39 FOR THE PROSECUTION AND THREE FOR THE DEFENCE.
FOR THOSE SENTENCED TO DEATH BY THE SPECIAL COURT THERE IS NO APPEAL, EXCEPT FOR A PLEA FOR CLEMENCY TO PRESIDENT NKRUMAH HIMSELF.