Judge threatens to revoke Ato Essien’s bail in ¢620m Capital Bank trial

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Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien

An Accra High Court has expressed frustration with counsel for the Chief Executive of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien’s attitude towards his ongoing trial.

On Thursday, the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor cautioned that the banker’s lawyer’s slow approach could leave it no option but to revoke his bail.

This came after the legal team failed to file their documents to ensure the smooth running of the trial.

The lawyer for the accused, Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia, told the court that they only got the requested documents from the defunct bank’s Receiver on January 12, giving them little time to comply with the order.

But the judge would have none of that.

Justice Kyei Baffuor reminded Ato Essien that his conditions for the granting of bail include the ability of the accused to cooperate with the court.

The judge further wondered why Mr Essien’s lawyer did not use a subpoena to obtain the documents if they were indeed encountering any difficulty.

This means Mr Essien could be incarcerated and spend time in custody for the rest of the ¢620 million case if the situation is repeated.

Ato Essien and two others are accused of embezzling liquidity support of ¢620 million bailout given by the Bank of Ghana to Capital Bank service its maturing debt.

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The Capital Bank CEO, his former Managing Director Fitzgerald Odonkor and former Director of Mr Essien’s MC Management Services are currently facing 23 counts of money laundering, conspiracy to steal and stealing.

The prosecution says the suspects opened bank accounts with the Capital Bank through which the BoG’s money was transferred.

They are also accused of carrying jute bags of money to Ato Essien as payment for ‘business promotion’.

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