Expedite investigations – Magistrate orders prosecution in coup case

Kaneshie District Court has asked the prosecution in the alleged ongoing coup case to expedite investigations to help protect the rights of the accused persons.

Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway, the Magistrate, urged the Prosecution to speed-up the evidence gathering process so that the committal would be done before the year ended.

If you are certain that these are the accused persons, speed-up. Such sensitive issues should not be dragged because everybody’s eyes are on it, she stated.

She also asked that counsels, whose clients were in the military’s custody, should have privacy and enough time with their clients in order to defend them.

She ordered that the intelligence officer be made to stand at the door to the conference room so that information gathered from the conversations would not be given to prosecution to be used against the defense team.

The case has been adjourned to November 11.

These came about when Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, Counsel for Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Donya Kafui, Bright Alan Debrah, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, Geshen Akpa, Corporal Seidu Abubakar and Lance Corporal Sylvester Akanbire had told the Court that his clients who were soldiers and had been remanded into the military’s custody did not have their privacy with him.

He explained that anytime he met with them, there was a representative from the Intelligence Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who came into their meeting and recorded their conversations.

Mr Adawudu said the military custody instructions were against the fundamental human rights of his clients, adding that he had written to the Director General of the GAF that things be done the legal way.

The Lawyer said he would report back to the Court as per the advice given to GAF by its legal team.

When the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare was asked to ascertain the matter, he said he had no knowledge of the development and said he would confer with his colleagues at the GAF.

Mr Bede Tukuu, Counsel for Lance Corporal Ali Solomon prayed the Court that his client’s family should be allowed to bring food to him as he was allergic to the meals fed him by GAF.

Mr Ziyerley Agambilla, the lawyer for Warrant Officer Class II Esther Saan, had also pleaded with the Court to give definite timelines to prosecution, adding that police was handling the investigations at a slow pace, considering how long the accused persons had been in custody.

ASP Asare in a rebuttal said they had complied with the law by arraigning the accused persons even before 48 hours and that did not mean they had completed their investigations. There were again different deadlines for different cases, he noted.

“We are on course, shortly, we would commence the case and would not waste the Court’s time,” the Prosecutor said.

Source: GNA

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