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Here's what happened in court during Barker-Vormawor’s treason felony trial

Oliver Barker-Vormawor's treason felony trial took center stage in court proceedings on May 27, 2024, following his arrest upon arrival from the UK at Kotoka International Airport in February 2022.

High Court Proceedings Unfold in Barker-Vormawor’s Treason Felony Trial

Initially accused of plotting to overthrow President Akufo Addo, the state's argument shifted during the trial.

Led by senior state attorney Dentaa Yankah, the prosecution asserted that Barker-Vormawor lacked the capacity for a coup and was not inherently violent. Instead, they contended that his social media statements could potentially incite others to resort to violent means.

After listening to legal arguments from both parties to the case, the High Court in Accra dismissed Barker-Vormawor's application, which sought to challenge the jurisdiction of the court and the constitutionality of the treason felony charge preferred against him. The court maintained that the case was well within its jurisdiction and declined the accused's request for the matter to be referred to the Supreme Court.

In response after the court proceedings, Barker-Vormawor stood firm, defending his position and emphasizing his commitment to speaking truth to power. Despite the prosecution's new angle, he maintained the clarity of his intentions.

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He explained that he would continue speaking truth to power in a brief engagement with the media after the court proceedings.

"Now, my words were clear that I would do the coup myself. Now, if I said I would do a coup myself. How am I inciting others to go and do a coup?

As we have always said, this is a coup about the mindset that the nonchalant attitude of our people who have allowed themselves to be oppressed for years, we would end it and we will do it either alone or together with others.

We do not care about their broken politics and it's only we, the people who can make that a reality by purposeful organizing by saying no to power.

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Whenever power barks, we will bark twice whenever power shouts, we will shout twice because our voice and the course of justice is always louder than those of those who oppress us."

Supporters, including Mr. Dramani, convener of the Dumsor Must Stop Vigil echoed Barker-Vormawor's sentiments, labeling the trial as a misuse of state resources.

Mr. Dramani argued, " It's so embarrassing, embarrassing that you say the person is not violent, the person can't usurp the executive authority of this country through force. So why are we here?

So that case in that, based on that alone, this case should have been thrown out, it should have been thrown out because the key ingredient in that thing, is the violence and the use of force.

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You said the person doesn't have that but he was inciting people.

So the case is a bogus one, this case will not yield any for this country."

After the proceedings, Barker-Vormawor took to Facebook to express his views on the trial, highlighting what he sees as inconsistencies in the charges against him and advocating for constitutional propriety.

He wrote, "Why stop there? We want the Death Penalty one. Because even at the price of death, I shall demand constitutional propriety. For only Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.

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The Judge has refused to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for them to decide what to do; claiming that High Treason means I want to do the coup myself, but Treason Felony means I want someone else to do the coup.

I was so confused. The entire evidence you have is a Facebook post where I say “I want to do the coup myself”. 😂 My case is simple: Give me Liberty Or Give me the Death Penalty!"

The trial has been adjourned to June 3, 2024, as the legal battle continues to unfold in the courtroom.

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