Lawyers for David Philip McDermott aka David Smith, the 42-year-old British national being held by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) over an alleged £71 million cocaine scandal in the United Kingdom (UK), are incensed over the arrest of their client.
According to Lawyer Victor Adawudu, the officers who picked up his client had no warrant to arrest his client in Ghana.
In the view of the lawyer, Ghana is a sovereign state and that an arrest warrant issued by a district magistrate court in Liverpool could not have been used to arrest his client, who is being tried for undertaking prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs in Ghana and in the UK between 2013 and 2016 without lawful authority.
Mr Adawudu was emphatic that the arresting officers erred in doing so because they had no arrest warrant from a magistrate court in Ghana.
But Detective Sergeant Mawuko Siaw of the BNI, who was being cross-examined by the lawyer, disagreed in the extradition process, insisting that arrest warrant issued by Graham Robert, a district judge in Liverpool, was enough to warrant the arrest.
He explained to the court, presided over by Justice Merley Wood that the said arrest warrant was accompanied by supporting documents from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior.
D/Sgt. Siaw contended that it is not always the case that a police officer requires an arrest warrant before an arrest can be effected.
He stated that the police could arrest anybody who was committing an offence or had been declared wanted, adding that he found the aforementioned documents adequate enough to arrest David.
The police officer said he acted in according with law.
Earlier, Mr Adawudu urged the BNI – where the accused was being held – to be up and doing because the case was of national interest.
This compelled the judge to caution the BNI to bring the accused person to court on time.
Sitting continues on March 30, 2016.
The Attorney-General (A-G) was represented by Richard Gyambibi, who was led by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions.
State prosecutors had moved a motion for the extradition of the accused based on a revised charge of conspiracy to supply cocaine and two other counts.
D/Sgt. Siaw had in evidence told the court that on May 16, 2013, David and four others held a meeting at KFC in Liverpool, UK, and discussed the importation of 400kg of cocaine that was intercepted among beef imported from Argentina.
D/Sgt. Siaw said David McDermott and his colleagues at the meeting discussed the possibility of using violence to retrieve the drugs.
The witness indicated that David had contact with his accomplices while living in Ghana.
David had been living in Ghana for the past three years and that in 2014, the BNI received information from a reliable source that the accused was involved in drug- related business.
On March 11, this year, David was arrested from his hiding place at Tse Addo residential area behind the Trade Fair Site in Accra and brought to the BNI to assist with investigations.
Police investigations revealed that the accused was wanted by the UK for similar offences. He was also said to be operating a mining company in the Eastern Region.