The trial of convener of #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, charged with treason felony, is set to begin following the empanelling of a seven-member jury to hear the case.
An Accra High Court has successfully empanelled the jury made of five males and two females, although the accused rejected two prospective candidates.
The court, presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh, therefore, ordered the prosecution to file their disclosures within two weeks and gave them an additional two weeks within which to file witness statements for their witnesses.
The court subsequently adjourned the case to July 18, 2023, for case management and case completion plan.
The Office of the Attorney General last week amended the two charges against Barker-Vormawor to treason felony following the order of the court which had held that the old charges were duplicitous.
He, however, refused to plead to the two new charges yesterday, invoking Section 238 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, (Act 29) which allows him to do so.
Oliver Barker-Vormawor was initially charged with two counts of high treason and treason felony after he had indicated on his Facebook and Twitter handles that he will undertake a coup, calling Ghana’s military “useless” in the process.
The charges were subsequently amended to two counts of treason felony which were read to him in court on June 1, 2023, as the court decided to retake his plea on the new charges.
The court clerk after reading the first count asked the accused, “Oliver Barker-Vormawor are you guilty or not guilty,” and he responded by saying, “I want to exercise my rights under Section 238 of the Criminal Code not to plead to the charges.”
The clerk read the second count and repeated the question and the accused repeated same answer, and the court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzu entered a ‘not guilty’ plea for him.
Section 238 of Act 29 states that “Where an accused who is arraigned on, or charged with an indictment, stands mute of malice, or neither will, nor by reason of infirmity can answer directly to the indictment, the Court may cause a plea of “not guilty” to be entered on behalf of the accused.”
The accused is before the court charged with two counts of treason felony after he threatened to undertake a coup while describing Ghana’s military as “useless”.
His post was in reaction to an E-Levy cake allegedly made to celebrate the birthday of Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu.
Barker-Vormawor made his appearance before the High Court on October 13, 2022, after he was committed by the Ashaiman District Court to stand trial for the post.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak