Detective Chief Inspector Bernard Berko, the police officer who investigated the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, yesterday told an Accra High Court that he did not know who recorded the meeting where the NDC Chairman made the statements that had brought him and another NDC official to court to be tried.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and Anthony Kwaku Boahen are on trial over a leaked tape which captures how the opposition NDC allegedly planned to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the heat of the 2020 General Election.
Among the strategies the NDC planned to adopt were the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings, arson and verbal attacks on public officials like the then Chairman of the NPC, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and EC boss, Jean Mensa.
The meeting had been organized for communicators and the party’s Chairman who was there to address them, made threatening statements which prosecutors said breached the criminal code.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo has been charged with one count of conspiracy to cause harm and two counts of assault against a public officer while on the other hand, Mr. Boahen is facing one count of conspiracy to cause harm.
Answering a question under cross examination by Tony Lithur, counsel for Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, the investigator who is the third prosecution witness insisted, “I don’t know who recorded it,” when queried about the person behind the voice recording.
Pushed further about the possibility of a National Security operative being behind the said recording, the investigator still said he was not aware of the person that did the recording.
“So that recording could have been made by a National Security operative. Could it not? The lawyer asked, and the witness replied, “I don’t know who recorded it.”
The investigator, prior to his cross-examination, ended his evidence in chief by tendering in evidence a report on investigations pleaded by Mr. Boahen.
Much of the cross-examination of the investigator by Mr. Lithur was about the venue of the alleged meeting of communicators of the NDC, its purpose, who recorded the meeting and whether those in attendance gave consent for the meeting to be recorded.
Mr. Lithur asked the witness if through his investigation he was able to identify where the said meeting took place, and Chief Inspector Berko said his investigations showed it was at the party headquarters of the NDC at Adabraka in Accra.
He then suggested to the witness that a meeting of communicators called by the NDC to discuss communication lines regarding its withdrawal from a violent by-election would not and was not opened to the public, but the investigator said, “My lord, I cannot confirm or deny it.”
“You are aware, are you not, that the so-called recording of the meeting was secretly done without the knowledge and or consent of the participants? The lawyer asked, and the witness said, “I cannot confirm or deny that one.”
Lawyer: I am suggesting to you that if you conducted a thorough investigation, you would be able to confirm or deny whether or not the recording was secretly made without the consent or the authority of any of the participants.
Investigator: The case was extensively investigated. But as to whether it was recorded with or without the consent of A1 (Ofosu-Ampofo), I cannot tell.
Lawyer: What about the others at the meeting? Would you be able to say from your so-called thorough investigation whether or not they consented to be recorded?
Investigator: No, my lord.
Lawyer: I am suggesting to you that nobody at the alleged meeting consented or would have consented to being recorded on a sensitive matter as described by the moderator at the beginning of the meeting.
Investigator: My lord, I cannot confirm or deny that fact.
Lawyer: To date has anybody come forward to you to say that he was at that meeting and had consented or authorized the recording of the said meeting to be made?
Investigator: No, my lord.
Mr. Lithur then went on to ask the investigator whether he took statements from Haruna Iddrisu, Kofi Totobi Quakyi, Mr. Kalebu, Sammy Gyamfi and the moderator of the said meeting who were mentioned on the tape, and the witness said he did not because they were not the subject matter of the investigation.
He then asked the investigator whether Mr. Boahen’s name appeared anywhere in the transcribed voice recording or his voice was captured on the said tape, and Inspector Berko said “no,” but added that “investigations led to his involvement in this matter.”
Hearing continues on March 30, 2021.