Crime & Punishment of 2014-06-16

Six arrested for causing harm, not for murder

The six men arrested in connection with the slashing of the neck of a 70-year-old man at Teshie in Accra have been charged with causing harm.
This is contrary to the first police report which said the suspects had been charged with murder.
The men, aged 28 to 74, are Joseph Ashikwei Tijany, Daniel Ashitei Okoe, Philip Boye, Nii Agoe Kaastso, Nii Armah Agbeko and Michael Ashiboy Armah. They have also been charged with conspiracy to cause harm and threat of harm.
Police update
The Teshie District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Simon Agbodeka, told the Daily Graphic that when the initial charge sheet was submitted to the Police Prosecution Unit, the charge of murder was substituted with that of causing harm.
Lawyers of five of the suspects had, in a rejoinder to the Daily Graphic, indicated that the publication of their pictures with the story had restrained the movement of their clients to the detriment of their freedom, welfare and business.
That, the lawyers said, was in regard to the “odious stigma associated with murder in this country, coupled with the danger to which it exposes persons alleged to be charged with such a crime.”
The lawyers, therefore, demanded a retraction of the story and apology to the suspects.
Mr Agbodeka had told journalists that the victim, whose name had been withheld, had his neck slashed during a confrontation at the Lenshie Royal Cemetery.
He explained that the confrontation had to do with a disagreement over arrangements for the funeral of the acting Djasetse of Lenshie, Nii Armah Jerry.
A faction of the family, led by an elder, Nii Kwabotwe, had protested the burial of the deceased at the Lenshie Royal Cemetery.
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