Defense Counsel Says ACP Agordzo Volunteered Donation For TAG Outreach Programme

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Mr Kormivi Dzotsi, Defense Counsel for Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Kwasi Agordzo, says accused volunteered a GHS2,000.00 donation to Take Action Ghana (TAG) only to support its outreach programme.

ACP Agordzo is standing trial with nine others over an alleged treason of which he contributed the money and a written speech and is facing an abetment charge.

In a Cross-examination of Mr Francis Aboagye, the tenth prosecution’s witness and an investigator with the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), the counsel said his client joined and contributed to TAG’s outreach programme, which members are standing trial over treason and abetment, stating that TAG’s goals were democratically oriented.

The Defense Counsel said his client’s conversations with Dr Frederick Mac-Palm, the alleged brain behind the overthrow of government, did not suggest that he was interested in the overthrow of a constitutionally elected government, adding that his use of “big bang” and “the seed of Arab Spring has been sown,” cannot be used against him, as a treasonable offence.

Mr Dzotsi told the Court that if the witness and his team had conducted a thorough and fair investigation on the matter without any pre-conceived mind, he would not have pressed charges against ACP Agordzo.

The counsel said, ACP Agordzo had made his intentions clear to the witness and his investigation team that his expressions on “Arab Spring” can be found in his conversation with other persons and even in his lecture notes, therefore, it could not be mistaken as abetment for “coup d’état”.

In this context “big bang” cannot be understood to mean undertaking a coup, counsel said.

Witness: “it can, the expression was to enhance the activity of TAG which had been demonstrated to be an organisation whose intention was to conduct coup d’etat.”

“I suggest that “big bang” in this context is inconsistent with the answer you have just given to the Court,” the Defense counsel.

False, the witness said.

Defense Counsel quizzed: “If you had done a thorough investigation with a fair mind, these matters would have been investigated by you, true or false,” witness answered in the negative.

As an investigator, it is your duty to pursue all leads that come to your attention during investigation, the lawyer pointed it out but the witness said, it was false.

“False, we pursued relevant leads,” the witness answered.

He said if the senior Police officer had negative intention he would not have called for rebranding of TAG and called on the members to notify the Police for their intended demonstration.

Counsel said no one in his right senses would invite the Police, adding that if ACP Agordzo knew that the demonstration was for the purpose of taking over government by unlawful means, he would not have advised them to notify the Police but witness said there was no indication that any of the accused persons asked that that Police should be notified.

The lawyer also argued that if TAG was a violent group, it would not have included a legal expert, Lawyer Fred Dotse, on their platform to advise them on how to interpret the Constitution.

Again, counsel said ACP Agordzo suggested to Dr Mac-Palm to contact Sampson Lardi Ayenine, also a lawyer.

On the case of TAG bringing on a senior lawyer, Dotse Fred, to advise them on how to interprete the Constitution as well as contacting Mr Ayenine, the witness said he did not know about it neither did the accused persons bring into the attention of the team during investigations.

He also told the High Court that the drafted speech that ACP Agordzo forwarded to Dr Mac-Palm to be read on the day of the demonstration was not authored by him.

The Defense Counsel revealed that ACP Agordzo advised that TAG’s rebranding was for the group to attract funds from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and for TAG to also have branded t-shirts.

Witness on the contrary said the T-shirts were to make the demonstration achieve its intended purpose.

He said though TAG had other WhatsApp platforms, his client was only on the main one but not the others such as its Springboard and Executive platforms.

The witness on the other hand said the investigation team understood ACP Agordzo’s use of “Arab Spring” in the context that he subscribed to the taking over of the country through the mode of the “Arab Spring”.

Mr Aboagye added that ACP Agordzo claims were false and that TAG’s vision and mission as a democratic movement were nothing but what he called ” camouflage,” since the members’ real intention was camouflage,” for security reasons.

“Besides that, both Dr Agordzo and Dr Mac-Palm had a voice call before the link was sent to ACP to join the group and we do not know the nature of discussion. Apart from this, I told the court that Dr Mac-Palm had told ACP Agordzo that TAG can provide the triggering platform,” he emphasised.

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