Alleged coup plotters case: Prosecution presents WhatsApp chats in court

Alleged coup plotters case: Prosecution presents WhatsApp chats in court
JUSTICE

The Prosecution in the Coup Plotters case on Monday, April 11, 2022, laid WhatsApp communication among some of the accused persons to the Court.

The 11th Prosecution Witness, Kabral Mohammed Ayembila, is a Cybersecurity and Digital Forensic Officer with 12 years of working experience at the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).

He told the court in his evidence in chief, led by a Prosecutor, Winifred Sarpong that he received a written request attached to a Court order, from the investigation department of the NIB through its Director on October 14, 2019, to extract information from 10 mobile phones and 3 tablets.

These devices, he told the Court, had the names of the accused persons and others on them, including; Bright Debrah, Callister Ziaba, Col. Gameli, Ezor Kafui, and Dr. Frederick MacPalm.

The Witness told the 3-panel Court he and his team successfully extracted material/data from 11 of the 13 devices. Two devices, a Samsung notebook 2 and an iPad mini were not accessible to the extraction device, he said.

According to Kabral Mohammed Ayembila, they extracted “call logs, contacts, pdf files, word files, audio, video, and WhatsApp chats. All of these extracted data was put in an external hard drive” and returned to the “investigation department of NIB through the Director of National Intelligence Bureau.”

The Witness said the investigation team again reached out to him and his team after analysing the extracted data, to print out some data from the hard drive.

The printed data all came from a Samsung Galaxy S7 belonging to Dr. Frederick Mac Palm which was the only phone that had data relevant to the investigation.

It “was WhatsApp chats between Dr. Frederick MacPalm and some numbers saved as ACP Dr. Benjamin, Dr. Sam, Zikpi Gam, and a WhatsApp group by name Take Action Ghana Executive platform. The extraction team went ahead to print out the chats without media because they requested for only chat and per the extraction device media files are separated from chats.”

The witness later told the Court under cross-examination that though a very simple and modern computer could be used to extract the data, an extraction device was used, “to ensure the integrity of the data for the purposes of investigation.”

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