The trial of Nana Appiah Mensah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of defunct gold dealership firm, Menzgold, took a dramatic turn on Tuesday as his lawyer mounted a robust challenge to the prosecution’s case during the trial.
Lawyer for NAM 1, as Appiah Mensah is popularly known, lawyer Kwame Akuffo argued that the prosecution’s claim that his client sold gold without a license was missing crucial context.
He asserted that, the license granted allowed the sale of gold within the country, emphasising that the Minerals Commission received royalties from the gold sales.
The defence lawyer questioned the prosecution’s references to specific monetary figures, such as GHȼ180 million and GHȼ220 million, contending that these amounts did not establish guilt.
Instead, he posited that these transactions could have involved legitimate business dealings, perhaps even opening a bank in 2018.
He criticised the prosecution for not specifying when these sums were paid and whether any wrongdoing occurred in relation to them.
Regarding the charge of defrauding by false pretenses, the defence noted that, the prosecution had not provided any evidence of a public notice related to the alleged offense. This lack of supporting documentation raised questions about the nature of the case before the court.
The Deputy Attorney General, who led the prosecution, countered the defense’s assertions, stating that, they disagreed with the defense counsel’s interpretation of the case.
He expressed the prosecution’s non-opposition to bail but requested that the judge exercise discretion, considering the substantial sums of money involved.
Count three of the charges encapsulated a total amount exceeding GHȼ1.6 billion, according to the prosecution. The prosecutor pointed out that the Circuit Court had previously granted bail with justification.
To prevent any potential flight risk, the prosecution proposed that NAM 1 (the accused) deposit his passport with the court. This arrangement would allow the accused to apply to the court whenever he needed his passport.
The prosecution introduced additional factual conditions that varied the bail conditions initially given by the court.
The court granted NAM 1 bail in the sum of GHȼ500 million with no justification required, four sureties to be justified, and a requirement for the accused to report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters every Thursday.
The case has been adjourned to October 27, 2023, with the legal battle expected to continue in the coming weeks.