General News of Thursday, 18 June 2020
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An Accra High Court hearing the case involving William Ato Essien, Founder of the defunct Capital Bank, who is on trial with three others for allegedly misappropriating customers funds leading to the collapse of the bank, has adjourned the matter to July 9.
The court presided over by Justice Kyei Baffour was compelled to adjourn the matter after the prosecution told the court that they were yet to conclude negotiations with regard to the refund of the misappropriated funds in line with Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459).
The court granted the prayer by both the prosecution and counsel for the first accused for one last adjournment to enable them to conclude the negotiations.
Justice Baffour, a Justice of the Court of Appeal with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, said notwithstanding any possible outcome of the negotiation, trial would proceed on the next adjourned date.
Earlier, the Prosecution, told the court that negotiations were still ongoing, saying the first set of proposal from Ato Essien was totally unacceptable to the prosecution.
However, they have received another set of proposals which they had responded to, but counsel for Ato Essien was yet to receive same.
The prosecution then prayed the court for a short adjournment and that if they were unable to reach a consensus by the next adjourned date, the trial should proceed even as negotiations continue.
Counsel for Ato Essien, Mr Baffour Gyawu Bonsu conceded to the application.
At the previous sitting, the court adjourned the trial after both the defence lawyers and the prosecution had agreed to negotiate a refund of the GH¢27.5 million to the state, by Ato Essien.
The amount is part of a GH¢620 million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) between June 2015 and November 2016.
Ato Essien, is facing 26 counts of conspiracy, stealing and money laundering, while the other three are variously being held for abetment of crime. They have all denied the charges.
Ato Essien, who is also a Majority Shareholder of Capital Bank Limited, Tetteh Nettey, Managing Director of MC Management Services, a company established by Essien, and Fitzgerald Odonkor, a former Managing Director of Capital Bank, were admitted to bail in the sum of 200-million cedis each while Kate Quartey Papafio, a businesswoman and Chief Executive officer of Reroy Cables Company Limited, was admitted to bail in the sum of 75 million cedis.
The four accused are to provide four sureties each who are of good character and substance.
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