An Accra High Court hearing the case of Ato Essien and three others over the collapse of Capital Bank has acquitted and discharged Kate Quartey-Papafio, Managing Director of Reroy Cables Limited.
“A prima facie case has not been established against her. Rather she acted childish in the deal and the law does not punish the fool but the one with evil intention,” the trial Judge said.
This was after the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei – Baffour, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, upheld a submission of no case by her lawyers.
Madam Kate, together with William Ato Essien, Founder of the defunct bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor, the Managing Director of the bank, Tettey Nettey, the Managing Director of MC Management Services, a company said to be owned by Essien, are in court for conniving and stealing GHS620 million of liquidity support given to the Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana.
The court in its ruling, on Thursday morning after submissions of no case by counsels for the accused persons, held that the prosecution failed to establish any prima facie case against Madam Kate, to warrant her to open her defence.
He said there was no evidence that showed that the businesswoman intended or acted in any way to steal money from Capital Bank.
Justice Kyei- Baffour said Madam Kate only acted as a trustee for another person who wanted to purchase shares from the bank but had no knowledge that the said money was part of the liquidity support, adding that the said money of GhS70million was still in the custody of the Consolidated Bank and had not been appropriated or stolen by her.
She was subsequently discharged and acquitted by the court.
Justice Kyei-Baffour, however, ruled that the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against the other three accused persons and ordered them to open their defence.
The case was then adjourned to July 22, for the three to open their defence.
The four accused, who are standing trial over the collapse of Capital Bank were said to have engaged in various illegal acts that led to the dissipation of the over GH¢620 million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana between June 2015 and November 2016.
The accused who have been charged with stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering have pleaded not guilty to the offences.
Essien, Netteh, Odonkor were admitted to bail in the sum of 200 million Ghana Cedis each while Kate was admitted to bail in the sum of 75 million cedis, and were all to provide four sureties, each with who was of good character and substance.
The prosecution, earlier said Essien, with Odonkor’s help, transferred the liquidity support to certain companies either controlled by him or in which he had an interest.
According to the prosecution, GHS130 million of the liquidity support was transferred to MC Management Services, which was later presented to the BoG as the initial capital to set up Sovereign Bank, another bank in which Essien had an interest.
The prosecution further alleged that between June and October 2015, Essien, aided by Odonkor, appropriated GHS27.5 million of the liquidity support by carrying the money away in jute bags.
The prosecution alleged that Essien gave out some liquidity support to his cronies in the form of loans to be used to buy shares in Capital Bank.
With regard to Quartey-Papafio, the prosecution held that as part of the scheme to further dissipate the GH¢620 million liquidity support, Essien transferred GH¢70 million of the money into Quartey-Papafio’s bank account at Cal Bank.
The prosecution further accused Quartey-Papafio of trying to withdraw the money in the year 2017, even though she was aware that Capital Bank had collapsed and was in receivership.
The Prosecution said the withdrawals were, however, prevented by the receivers of Capital Bank.
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