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Court varies bail conditions for alleged coup plotter

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The High Court in Accra has granted an application for the variation of bail conditions for Warrant Officer Class II (WO II), Esther Saan Dekuwine in the ongoing alleged “Coup Plotters case”.

Warrant Officer Dekuwine of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), a.k.a Mama Gee, is standing trial with Dr. Frederick Mac-Palm who has been accused of masterminding a plot to destabilize the government with support from some military, police and civilian actors.

Making her case in court on Friday, the Warrant Officer said she’s been in the custody of the military police since her bail.

She told the court that though her house is in the Teshie barracks, she’s been in a small bedroom with no kitchen at the Burma Camp barracks where standing orders have been issued for her at the MESS and guards stationed in the hallway.

Under the circumstances, she said she’s unable to cook and has to rely on food brought her from home.

WO II Dekuwine maintains that the standing orders restrict her interaction with her family, including her children, and leaves her with no privacy with her visitors.

“I have a problem there. The standing orders restrict my family. I don’t have my privacy with my visitors. I don’t come out to see the daylight. I am always inside. They don’t allow me outside. I want to go to my house. I have three children. And my husband also lives in my house.”

Lawyer for the accused, Ziyerlei Agambilla, pleaded with the court to vary the bail conditions to “a normal bail”.

“The present situation reflects the point that she’s still in custody. She’s a young mother who was breastfeeding her baby but because of the case, the breastfeeding was truncated. The youngest child is two years and the oldest is eight years old. For all intents and purposes, it looks like the applicant is still like someone in Nsawam prison,” Mr. Agambilla advocated.

He told the court that the Defence Counsel is also restricted by the standing orders in their interaction with their client as they get only 45 minutes with her on a visit. He insisted that the team needed unrestricted access to their client to enable them to prepare her defence.

“Even we as lawyers we have only 45 minutes with her.”

Without any opposition to the application by the Attorney General, the court presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge granted the application.

With this variation, WO II Esther Saan Dekuwine’s new bail conditions include one hundred thousand Ghana cedis and two sureties.

Beginning from Saturday, October 24, 2020, she is also to report to the Commanding Officer of Army Combat Training School every two days at 7:30 am, with the Commanding Officer taking and keeping records.

The court has however granted the Prosecution’s motion to include additional exhibits.

The case has been adjourned to Friday, November 20, 2020.

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