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Crime & Punishment Sat, 7 Jul 2018

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Afoko Trial: Court would not entertain delays – Judge warns

The trial judge in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said that what happened in the late J. B. Danquah’s trial with series of delays would not happen in his court.

He said “this is not a district court and I would not allow what happened in the J. B. Danquah’s case to happen here. There would be horrifying reactions if this case turns out like that”.

The presiding judge, Justice Lawrence L. Mensah said this after the prosecution told the court that the next witness who is supposed to be the pathologist, one, Dr Lawrenec Adusei has asked the court to give him two weeks to present his report.

The prosecution led by Mr Mathew Amponsah told the court that he got in touch with the witness as ordered by the court at the last adjourned date and the witness informed him that his report was not ready, praying the court to give him an additional two weeks.

The court however did not take the plea lightly as it stated that, it is making all efforts to expedite the trial, and would not accept any delays.

He said “we judges write down 50 to 60 and sometimes 100 paged judgements and yet it doesn't take us two weeks. What kind of report is he writing?

“We are not joking here, it is his civic responsibility as a medical officer although he is on retirement”.

The court then adjourned the matter to July 10, 11, 12 and 13 for continuation.

Earlier the 12th prosecution witness during cross examination by defence counsel told the court that the police team conducted two searches in the accused’s house, and during the first search did not find anything but on the next day found a track suit.

When asked whether the track suit had an upper and lower part (the trouser and the jacket), he answered that he was only aware they said they found a track suit in the house but he could not tell whether it has an upper and lower part.

On the issue of whether one other person called Isaah Musah was also arrested in connection with the case he told the court that a lot of people were arrested in connection with the case, so he could not remember that name.

The defence Counsel asked the witness whether he was aware that doctors at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital examined scars on the legs of the accused of which the witness said he was not aware.

The witness said he had personal knowledge in this case arising from the investigations he conducted but the core investigation itself was done by the Criminal Investigations department Homicide Unit.

He was later discharged after they defence counsel ended its cross examination for the prosecution to bring its next witness.

At the last adjourned date the prosecution presented its 12th witness Detective Chief Inspector Charles Blay, who gave his evidence in chief.

The prosecution has so far called 12 witnesses including Hajia Adams, Madam Issaka, Quinn, Taufic, Dominic, Awafo, Thomas, Benjamin, James, Peter, Sampson and Charles. They intend to call three more witnesses.

Afoko, a farmer, is alleged to have killed Mr Mahama on May 20, 2015, and he is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder.

He has pleaded not guilty before the Court, which is also composed of a seven-member jury.

It was alleged that Afoko carried out the act with Alandgi Asabke, who is on the run.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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