THE ACCRA Fast Track High of God, Greater Accra region Court has set April 4, 2014 to determine the fate of the man at the centre of the shipment and disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine, Christian Sheriff Asem Darkeh following the Attorney General’s department filing of its final submission to the court yesterday.
Subsequently, the counsel of the accused has two weeks to respond to it upon which the court presided over by Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh will rule.
The suspect who is affectionately called the ‘Limping Man’ is currently in custody and has been grilled by the prosecution led by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa; a Chief State Attorney after his evidence in chief.
Limping man closed his case earlier, but told the court during his cross-examination that evidence before the court to get him convicted were all lies and that he is a fisherman and not a drug peddler as it was being leveled against him.
The suspect, under cross-examination also told the Court, presided over by Justice Habib Logoh that evidence provided to the court by Prosecuting Witnesses (PW) were fabrications and should not be considered.
He utterly denied the charges of conspiracy to import, importation and exportation of narcotic drugs.
He has, pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy, importation and exportation of narcotic drugs.
The suspect was arrested by BNI officials at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital on February 2, 2012 upon a tip-off, after he had been declared wanted by the police for five years.
In his earlier examination in chief by his lawyer, Isaac Aidoo, Darkeh told the court that a friend asked him to purchase the MV Benjamin for him for fishing, but that transaction did not go through.
And that the said friend he gave the name only as (Charwartey), gave him (Darkeh) an amount of $150,000 to be used to purchase the MV Benjamin.
According to him, he received the money in February 2006, adding that Charwatey took back the $150,000 after the purchase agreement failed.
He said the MV Benjamin, to his knowledge, imported fish and not narcotics Darkeh is alleged to have played a major role in the shipment of 2,310 kilogrammes of cocaine, with a face value of $138.
6 million, into the country in April 2006.
The fact of the case before the court is that, around midnight on April 26, 2006, the MV Benjamin, reportedly carrying about 77 parcels of cocaine, with each parcel weighing 30 kilogrammes, docked at Kpone/Tema and discharged the parcels.
The parcels were offloaded into a waiting vehicle which carried them away.
According to the prosecution, in the course of investigations, Darkeh’s name featured prominently as the importer and/or owner of the drug.
He was said to be the person who had chartered the vessel at a cost of $150,000 to tow another vessel from Guinea to Ghana and, subsequently, carted the alleged 77 parcels.
The disappearance of the cocaine led to the constitution of the Justice Georgina Wood Committee and the subsequent trial of persons alleged to have played various roles in the importation.
Judgment will be delivered on April 4, 2014.