Sunday, 25 February

Capital Bank case: ‘The law punishes the evil-minded not the fool’ – Court acquits, discharges Reroy Cables MD

Ms Kate Quartey-Papafio, the Managing Director of Reroy Cables Limited

The Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as a High Court judge, has acquitted and discharged Ms Kate Quartey-Papafio, the Managing Director of Reroy Cables Limited, in the ongoing trial with three others (William Ato Essien, founder of the now-defunct bank; Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, the Managing Director of the bank and Mr Tettey Nettey, the Managing Director of MC Management Services, a company said to be owned by Essien) accused of conniving to steal some GH₵620 million of liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana, which led to the bank’s collapse.

They all pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

Ms Quartey-Papafio’s lawyers, however, filed an application of no-case resulting in her acquittal and discharge.

Her role, in the scheme of things, was also described as childish by the judge.

According to Justice Kyei Baffour, the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Ms Quartey-Papafio to warrant a defence, since no evidence showed she intended or acted in a way to steal money from the bank but was just a trustee for another person who wanted to purchase shares from the bank but had no knowledge that the said money was part of the liquidity support.

Also, the court held that the GH₵70 million in question was still in the custody of the Consolidated Bank and had not been appropriated or stolen by the businesswoman.

“A prima facie case has not been established against her. Rather, she acted childishly in the deal. The law does not punish the fool but the one with evil intention,” the court ruled.

The court, however, ruled that the three other accused persons have a case to answer since the prosecution successfully established a prima facie case against them.

The three were, thus, ordered by the judge to open their defence.

Capital Bank went under in 2017 during the Bank of Ghana’s onslaught on struggling banks.