Ghana says ready to start extradition process for Gbagbo’s ally
The State on Thursday prayed the Osu District Magistrate Court to fix a definite date to enable it commence the extradition process of Justin Katinan, an ally of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo currently in the country.
According to Mr Matthew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney told the court that they have filed all the necessary documents in respect of Katinan’s extradition process.
Mr Amponsah said the State filed the documents on December 18, 2012.
When the court asked whether the defence team had been served with the documents filed, Mr Amponsah replied in the negative.
The court therefore ordered the State to ensure that Katinan’s lawyers were served.
At today’s hearing the court attention was drawn to the fact that Katinan was not in court when the case was called. However in the midst of deliberation on Katinan’s absence, Katinan and his lawyer arrived.
The court sat over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh warned accused person, saying “next time you do that a bench warrant would be issued by the court.”
In an apologetic mood, Katinan, who spoke in French, pleaded with the court to grant him time to enable him spend Christmas with his family, adding he was also in financial difficulty as he needed money to pay for his legal fees among others but the court declined and adjourned the matter to January 17.
Katinan is before the Osu District court following charges of robbery preferred against him but was granted a GH¢50,000.00 bail.
However, on October 1, this year, he was brought before an Accra Magistrates’ court charged with conspiracy to murder and two counts of murder but he was discharged by the court.
Katinan was said to have conspired with one Dalo Desire in Cote d’Ivoire to murder two men at Port Bouet in the Ivorian city of Abidjan.
According to the report, the first murder of a 33 year-old welder, Kamagate Seyobou, took place on March 19, 2011 while the second one, of Diabate Drissa, 37, a trader, also took place on March 29, 2011, both at Port Bouet.
Katinan’s plea was not taken.
Meanwhile the State had indicated that following instructions given, Katinan’s two cases would run parallel.
The state said on March 19, 2011, Katinan conspired with Desire to murder Seydou in Port Boute in Abidjan.
According to the state, Katinan and Desire on March 29, 2011 also attacked and murdered Drissa. A complainant, known as Kamgate Bakary, reported the incident to the Ivorian authorities.
On September 29, this year, Ivorian authorities issued a warrant in respect of Katinan and informed the Ghanaian authorities that he was in Ghana and demanded his arrest.