No Show In Court – Extortion Tape Not Played

There was an anti-climax in court yesterday when the much talked about audio recording that captures some four persons conspiring to blackmail and extort money from Black Stars Captain Asamoah Gyan could not be played because one of the accused was absent.

Dr Maurice Ampaw, lawyer for Lester Ekow Micah, one of the accused persons, told the court that his client was not in court.

The lawyer argued that the voice could not be played in the absence of Ekow Micah.

The prosecutor, ACP Moses Atibilla, however indicated that the said accused was in lawful custody in respect of another case and that the extortion case could be heard because the accused was represented by a lawyer.

Just when the court was about to take a decision on the matter, the defence lawyer backtracked and urged the court to continue the case.

However, the trial judge, Ms Afia Agbanu Kumador, said the court would wait for the accused person.

The case was therefore adjourned until November 30.

The tape which was all set to be played was tendered in evidence at the previous sitting by Anim Addo who is the manager of international footballer Asamoah Gyan.

The supposed voice recording purportedly captures Osafo Anthony, a 29-year-old journalist and the other accused persons—Sarah Kwablah, student, 21 and 24-year-old Chris Handler, a blogger—conspiring to extort money from Anim.

The four are standing trial for allegedly extorting GH¢25,000 from Anim Addo by means of threat.

Anthony and Chris are currently on bail in the sum of GH¢60,000 with three sureties each while Micah was bailed in the sum of GH¢20,000 with one surety.

Sarah is also on bail in the sum of GH¢60,000 with three sureties.

Anim Addo had earlier told the court that the accused persons had threatened Asamoah Gyan, the Black Stars Captain, with evidence of text messages to defame him (Gyan) and subsequently follow it with a publication of a sex video if some monies were not paid.

According to Anim Addo, Sarah was the first to threaten and he reported the case to the Odorkor police.

Anim Addo said Osafo, as a result, demanded GH¢30,000 and threatened to publish more stories if the money was not paid.

He said the police asked him to feign interest in the payment of the money, stressing that he met Osafo at an agreed venue and paid GH¢10,000 cash and a cheque of GH¢15,000. The journalist was immediately arrested on receiving the money.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson 

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