Court dismisses Marwako out of court settlement application

The Abeka District Court on Monday dismissed an out of court settlement application in the Marwako assault case.

The court also overruled a request by the defence to re-call the alleged victim for further cross-examination by the defence counsel.

In its ruling the court presided over by Mrs Victoria Ghansah noted that a look at the extent where the prosecution had reached in the matter and in order to serve the ends of justice and appeal to good conscience, the accused person ought to be heard so that people could access the evidence.

It admitted that the charges preferred against Jihad Chaaban consisted of misdemeanours but not all misdemeanours could be settled, adding the matter had also generated public interest.

According to the court, it was true that the Judiciary had introduced Court connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in certain cases however that was not applicable in human right abuse cases.

On the application to re-call the witness, the court noted that the defence had had three to four days to cross- examine her.

Addtionally, the court on its earlier ruling furnished the defence team with all the statements of the victim and other relevant documents.

On April 6, this year lead counsel for the accused person in the Marwako assault case is prayed the court presided over by Mrs Victoria Ghansah for an “out of court settlement”. 

Mr Julio De Medieros, counsel for Jihad Chaaban the accused person informed the court that he had instructions from his client to pray the court for an out of court settlement.

He however indicated the defence intention to appeal against the court”s ruling.

Referring to Section 73 of the Court’s Act, the law allows reconciliation in criminal cases noting that the issue before the court was not a felony but a misdemeanour. 

Prosecuting opposed to the out of court settlement.

In his application to recall the victim, Ms Evelyn Boakye, defence counsel who cited Section 79 of the Evidence Act, said some matters which were not known to them earlier had emerged.

“My Lord give us the Opportunity to confront the prosecution witness with these matters. There are several accounts of the victim story out there that we need to confront her,” Mr De Medieros.

Prosecuting Chief Inspector H.A. Hanson, however said saying that it was an attempt by the defence counsel to delay the trial. 

According to Chief Inspector Hanson, the defence had three to four days to themselves to cross examine the victim in court, adding if they have any additional information, they should bring their witnesses to that effect.

Meanwhile, the court heard the evidence in chief of the investigator, Detective Inspector Eunice Ashiagbor who corroborated the evidence of the victim.

Inspector Ashiagbor tendered medical report, various statements of the accused in evidence, a letter requesting the full report on the victim from the Achimota Government Hospital.

The court said it was also mindful of the assertion of defence counsel that the victim, Ms Evelyn Boakye wanted to make money out of the matter. 

Chaaban aged 26, is before the Court for allegedly dipping the face of Ms Boakye into a blender full of blended pepper at the Abelenkpe branch of Marwako Restaurant.

Chaaban was charged with offensive conduct by calling the victim a prostitute, intentionally and unlawfully causing harm and assault.

Chaaban has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was on February 28, this year, alleged to have assaulted the alleged victim Evelyn for fidgeting with a blender and working slowly.

Chaaban, a brother –in-law of the owner of Marwako Restaurant at the Abelenkpe branch allegedly grabbed the neck of the victim angrily and dipped her face into a blender of blended pepper.

Hearing continues of April 12.

Source: GNA

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