Judge frustrated by delay tactics

The trial judge in the case involving three Ghanaians who are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and mur­dering the British/American missionary, Rev Sidney Thomas Barnes, has expressed anger and frustration at the failure of the prosecu­tion to appear in court each time the case is called.

Mr Ali Baba Abature, the judge at the Accra Community Centre Court, was particularly disap­pointed that for the eighth consecutive time that the case had been called, the prosecutor, Assis­tant Superintendent of Police Mr Cletus K, Abadarnlora, had failed to appear.

When the case was called yesterday February 9, 2011, neither the prosecutor nor the accused persons were in court, which necessitated an adjournment for the ninth time to February 23, 2011.

Mr Abature said the continued detention of the accused persons in prison custody following the seeming lack of interest on the part of the prosecution to pursue the case was an infringe­ment on their fundamental human rights.

The accused persons, Kofi Seidu, the driver of the deceased, Issaka Mohainmed, a mason res­ident at Adoagyiri Nsawam, and Rev Goodwill Padmore, an employee of the deceased, have, since November 2010, been remanded in police custody for the committal proceedings to begin.

The facts of the case are that the accused per­sons conspired to murder Rev Barnes, 75, who had been resident in the country since. 1997.

On December 27, 2009, Rev Barnes went on leave in the USA and was billed to return to Ghana on March 18, 2010.

On March 17, 2010, Rev Padmore gave Seidu some money to enable him to repair an old Land Rover which belonged to Rev Barnes so that it could be used to pick the missionary from the Kotoka International Airport the following day.

In the morning of March 18, Seidu approached Rev Padmore for GH¢50 to buy fuel for the trip, making the latter to enquire from Seidu why he was leaving so early for Accra when Rev Barnes was expected in Ghana at 10 p.m.

Seidu replied that he wanted to make some rounds in Accra before picking the missionary in the night.

About 11:30 p.m. that day, Seidu, according to the facts, called Padmore on phone to inform him that Rev Barnes had not arrived at the airport.

On March 19, 2010, Seidu went to Adoagyiri Nsawam and a witness in the case detected that he had some bruises on both hands and when he asked Seidu what caused the injuries, he said he had been involved in an accident while driving a white man to Koforidua and that the white man had been admitted at the St Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua.

On the same day, Seidu gave a laptop to someone to open for him and on boosting the laptop, the name of the deceased appeared on the screen, while a tourist bag, believed to be the property of Rev Barnes, was found in the Land Rover.

Upon further enquiry, Seidu said the bag belonged to a white friend of his.

The disappearance of Rev Barnes was then reported to the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) at the Criminal Investigati.ons Department and Seidu was subsequently arrested and handed over to the Police Homicide Unit.

He later confessed to the crime of murder and mentioned Issaka and Rev Padmore as his accomplices.

On October 11, 2010, Seidu led a team of investigators from the Homicide Unit and pathologists from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to Akwamu Amanfo, near Nsawam Adoagyiri, where he identified Rev Barnes’s grave.

The body was exhumed and conveyed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Source: Daily Graphic

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