Testimonies from witnesses presented by the State in the ongoing trial of formerNational Communications Authority (NCA) officials do not tally, making it much more difficult for state persecutors to prove their case before the High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor.
Madam Abena Asafu-Adjei, Director Legal of the NCA, who was the first prosecution witness stated during cross examination that the NCA had no knowledge of a request from National Security Secretariat to purchase a Cyber Security System on its behalf – a claim the fourth prosecution witness, also from the NCA has boldly refuted in court.
Interestingly, Madam Asafu-Adjei, who was on leave at the time of the transaction towards her retirement, has since been rewarded with a two-year contract after her testimony in court.
In a sharp contrast to Madam Asafu-Adjei’s testimony, Mr Henry Kanor, who is the Deputy Director General in charge of Technical Operations at NCA and was theDirector of Engineering at the time of the transaction, told the court that he was tasked to ensure the delivery, installation and the testing of the Pegasus Cyber Security System at a National Security site on the Spintex Road.
Mr Kanor further said acting on behalf of NCA, he dealt directly with the NSO Group and NSO’s Reseller Infraloks Development Ltd during the procurement of the equipment.
In the course of the cross examination, it came out that the Israeli government regards the Pegasus tracking software as no less than a weapon, whose exports are therefore supervised by the Israeli Defense Ministry.
In that regard, the Israeli Defense Ministry gives approval on behalf of the Israeli state for the sale of the Pegasus system to countries with good relationship with Israel.
Mr Kanor, who is the fourth prosecution witness admitted in court that, as the Director of Engineering at the time of the transaction, he was tasked by the Director General of the NCA to oversee the clearing of the hardware when it arrived in the country.
He added that, the delivery of the equipment to the end user site and the installation and testing of the system due to the National Security nature of the transaction.
Mr Kanor, he disclosed that also liaised with the National Security during the clearing from customs and the deployment of the system.
The witness also confirmed to the Court that he took the NSO deployment team to a National Security site when they arrived in the Ghana.
Documents were tendered in evidence to confirm direct correspondence between the NCA and the NSO Technologies Group.
Mr Kanor also informed to the court that he visited the site and the NSO deployment team every day for twenty minutes to check on the progress of the deployment and gave progress report to the Director General of NCA at the time.
A letter signed by Mr. Kanor which confirms the completion of the deployment phase was tendered in evidence.
The confirmation letter was to also enable NSO issue an invoice and get paid by the reseller as the neither the NCA orGovernment of Ghana was liable for the payment of the system although the sale was to NCA/GoG as approved by the Israeli Defense Ministry.
Subsequent checks about the Pegasus Cyber security system revealed that the Israeli Defense Ministry after its own due diligence gave approval to the NSO Group to sell the system NCA/Ghana and provided an end-user certificate to the NCA.
Per the terms of the contract, NSO cannot sue NCA or GoG for non-payment as NSO has no recourse to NCA or GoG.
The court proceedings were adjourned to January 29, 2019 for the prosecution to present its next witness.