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Ghana coup: 6 sentenced to death, including soldiers

Ghana coup: 6 sentenced to death, including soldiers
Rwandan armed forces prepare to board a flight to Mozambique, at the airport in Kigali,   -  
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Muhizi Olivier/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


Six Ghanaians, among them three military personnel, have been sentenced to death by hanging for their role in a coup conspiracy that unfolded three years ago.

There was a heavy security deployment outside the High Court in Accra during the sentencing on Wednesday.

This historic case marks Ghana's first treason trial since 1966, the year of the overthrow of post-independence leader Kwame Nkrumah.

The individuals, apprehended in 2021 while experimenting with weapons in the capital city, Accra, with an alleged intent to overthrow the government, have been sentenced following a highly publicized trial that captivated the entire nation.

Among the accused is a skilled gunsmith, and despite the gravity of the charges, the group maintained their plea of not guilty throughout the proceedings.

Defence lawyers said they would appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court.

Three other people, including a senior police officer and two military officers, were acquitted.

The court found the six guilty of high treason and conspiracy to commit high treason.

The men were arrested with locally manufactured guns, improvised explosive devices and AK-47 rifles, according to court documents.

State prosecutors said the group had planned to organise protests, ostensibly to topple President Nana Akufo-Addo's government ahead of the 2020 general elections.

The court said it found the evidence against the men, including intercepted communications and testimonies, compelling.

Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, who led the prosecution, praised the court verdict as "significant".

"The constitution of Ghana as the fundamental law of the country, which has sustained the stability of the nation, frowns seriously upon any attempt to overthrow a government " Mr Dame said.

Ghana, under democratic rule since 1992, recently abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes through a legislative decision in the previous year. The new law replaces capital punishment with a life sentence.

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