Accra, July10 GNA-The Fast Track High Court on Tuesday began the open trial of Christian Asem Darkey who allegedly imported 77 parcels of cocaine on board the MV Benjamin when the state produced the fifth prosecution witness.
The four earlier prosecution witnesses who were invited by the State had to testify in-camera because the court did not want to compromise their security.
Darkey also known as Sherriff, a businessman is standing trial for conspiracy, importation of narcotic drugs, possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority, undertaking prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, and corruption of public officer.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded into prison custody by the court presided over by Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh.
Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney who earlier led the witness in evidence said John Kwabena Dawson, was the former Chief Executive Officer of Dashment Company Limited, the company that chartered the vessel to Asem Darkey.
Mr Dawson narrated to the court how they chartered the vessel to Asem Darkey by tendering in chartered agreement between the company and Darkey which was supposed to last for 60 days and worth $150,000 which both parties signed.
He also tendered in a sales agreement between the company and Darkey worth $250,000 in connection with the sale of the vessel to Darkey.
He said after using the vessel for 60 days Darkey wanted to buy the vessel so they came to an agreement and they both signed the agreement.
Mr Dawson said he met Darkey through their lawyer one Lumor on February 6, 2006. He said the vessel was handed over to Darkey the very day that the sales document was signed.
Mr George Heward-Mills, Counsel for Darkey when cross examining Dawson asked the witness whether he was the Executive Director of the Company when the vessel was chartered by Darkey.
Mr Dawson insisted that he was the Executive Director when he entered into the agreement with Darkey and not his son, Joseph Kojo Dawson who is one of the convicted persons in the M.V Benjamin case.
Mr Heward-Mills challenged the witness that his son had told the court that Darkey did not pay directly to Dashment Company because there was high purchase agreement between the company and one Mr Bear who is the original owner of the vessel.
Mr Heward-Mills therefore prayed the court to order the witness to produce the document which shows that he was the Executive Director of the company at the time. The case was adjourned to July 16.