The Attorney-General’s Department has said contrary to critical comments, the charges proffered against three alleged coup plotters on Tuesday are severe.
A Deputy Attorney-General, Joseph Kpemka, has explained the charge of possession of ammunition without lawful authority – one of the five charges – is a first-degree felony that could land Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Dornyah “Ezor” Kafui and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu in jail for life.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, he said the law bars state security agencies from holding accused persons beyond 48 hours and for a charge of treason this sometimes limits the amount of evidence that can be gathered and submitted to a court.
“People may not have seen the charges that they were expecting but the current charges are equally serious,” he stressed.
The three accused persons, according to government, are part of “an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency.”
State security agencies jointly found an arms manufacturing facility hidden inside a hospital at a suburb of Accra.
The government said, items the state security agencies found at the Citadel Hospital, include five locally manufactured pistols with magazines fitted on, one foreign pistol with two magazines, three locally manufactured pistol barrels, three smoke grenades, 22 improvised Explosive Devices, among others.
Some security analysts and ordinary citizens alike have downplayed the coup plot allegation by the government.
A former Colonel in the Ghana Armed Forces has also doubted the capability of three men to target the Presidency.
Festus Aboagye said the government acted prematurely in concluding that they could be plotting to subvert the Presidency.
But the government insists, it has evidence it has not yet put out in the public that would justify the coup plot claim.
Meanwhile, the five charges proffered against Dr Mac-Palm, said to be a medical doctor, Dornyah “Ezor” Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, freight manager, are as follows:
1. Conspiracy to commit crime – Manufacture of arms and ammunition without lawful authority.
2. Conspiracy to commit crime – Possession of explosives and firearms without lawful authority.
3. Manufacture of firearms without lawful authority.
4. Manufacture of explosives and ammunition’s without lawful authority.
5. Possession of explosives and firearms.
Their pleas were not taken by the court.
The Deputy Attorney-General said on the Super Morning Show that “if we come to a determination as Attorney-General after they [state security agencies] have submitted to us a full duplicate docket from the police and we do a critical review and come to a determination that the conduct of the accused persons, based on available facts and based on available evidence, amounted to an attempt to subvert the security of the state or overthrow the government, then the charges will change.”