Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress on Thursday told the Commercial High Court that he believed there were different versions of the controversial Ofosu Ampofo audiotape.
He said this during cross-examination of Mr Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei a broadcast journalist with Adom FM who is a Prosecution witness in the trial.
Mr Lithur asked him to tell the Court whether before playing the tape on his show, he had heard similar tapes being played elsewhere or circulated but he answered in the negative.
“Are you suggesting to this court that the time you yourself listened to this tape was during your programme?”, to which he answered, yes, my Lord.
Mr Lithur asked whether after his programme, he subsequently heard or noticed similar tapes being played or circulated elsewhere, and he said, he heard a number of radio stations playing it.
Asked whether on hearing those radio stations playing those tapes he noticed that there were different versions of the tape?
The witness answered in the negative adding that, the only difference he noticed was that the duration of tape was long so some stations played portions of it.
“I am suggesting that there was in circulation different versions of the tape,” Mr Lithur said, but Mr Adjei replied, “I am not aware”.
You testified that you got hold of what you called “Ofosu Ampofo’s tape,” and played it during your programme, true? Yes, my Lord, he answered.
Asked whether he personally procured that tape and where he got it from, he answered no, adding that “as host, all materials and information including audio, voices to be played are given by the show’s producer”.
He gave the producer’s name as Listowell Kwadwo Fordjour but he could not tell where he procured the tape from, stressing that information and sources were not usually disclosed.
The broadcast journalist also told the Court that he did not prepare his witness statement but it was handed over to him by a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officer when he was about to go to the studio to carry out a programme.
He said he could not remember the said officer’s name but provided May 3, 2019, as the date he signed the witness statement, when asked by Mr Tony Lithur.
Mr Lithur pointed out that his signature on that statement is verifying the truth of the statement of which he said since he did not read it initially, he could not confirm it.
Defence counsel then told Adjei that his witness statement was unsigned but he denied that.
“I suggest to you further that what you signed was a statement verifying the truth, look at the document and give your answer,” the lawyer said.
Mr Adjei replied that “I see something that should be corrected in the statement”.
The lawyer asked that, because he had to told the Court that he had not read his witness statement but signed it, it would be unfair to say that he stand by it, but he replied, No my Lord, I stand by it since I had read aspects of it.
On his part, Dr Basit Aziz Bamba, counsel for Kwaku Boahen, a deputy communications director of the NDC, during his cross-examination of the prosecution witness stood by his statement only to the extent that it captured the witness’ interview that he had with Mr Boahen which he confirmed.
Dr Bamba said in fact, you cannot speak to the truthfulness of anything outside the interview you had with Mr Boahen because you were not present at the alleged meeting involving the first accused (Mr Ofosu Ampofo) when the alleged statement was made, which he answered, no, I was not present.
Dr Bamba wanted him to confirm that he was not the one who recorded the alleged statement of the first accused, and the witness answered in the negative.
Counsel said asked the Prosecution witness whether he can conform the circumstances leading to how the alleged tape was made of which he replied, no.
“You cannot confirm whether the said tape was made by a national security operative and cannot further confirm whoever made it acted within the law,” the lawyer queried of which the witness answered that he cannot tell.
Defence counsel here asked are you aware that at the time the recording was made, the second accused was not in Accra, which he replied that he was not in the knowm.
Asked whether he subsequently got to know that at the time it was made, the second accused was not in Accra, he replied that “I was not sure so I asked him (Boahen) three or four times whether he was there or not”.
Dr Aziz said his client (Boahen) was on good terms with the broadcaster as a result, when they interacted sometimes, Boahen bragged, teased to make the conversation interesting, but Adjei answered however that when they were on air, he drew the second accused attention to that fact.
Ofosu Ampofo has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to cause harm and assault on public officers whilst Mr Boahen has also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to cause harm.
They are both on a GH¢100,000.00 bail each, with a surety each and will make their next appearance on March 18, 2020.