Crime & Punishment Sat, 19 Jan 2019

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Afoko trial: Court rejects request for adjournment to January 25

The trial judge in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Friday rejected the prayer by the defence counsel to adjourn the matter to January 25, because their witness was not available.

The court said it was opposed to the adjournment sought for by the defence given the fact that as far back as December 14, 2018, the court had informed them to prepare their witnesses one after the other.

This was after the defence counsel, represented by Benedicta Ansah told the court that, their second witness, who lives here in Accra could not be in court today, and can only be available on January 25.

She then prayed the court to adjourn the case to January 25, for them to bring the witness.

Justice Lawrence. L. Mensah said “the court totally, comprehensively and radically rejects the said adjournment sought for by the defence counsel, given that the court as far back as December 14 adjourned the matter for the defence to get their witnesses.”

He said the court also rejects the January 25, especially when the date was at the pleasure of the witness, who lived right here in Accra and not for any specific reasons.

The court subsequently ordered the defence counsel and his team to present their witness on January 21 otherwise the court would consider them to have closed their case and parties would be asked to file their closing statements.

The case has since been adjourned to January 21 and 22.

At the previous sitting, the prosecution ended cross examination of the first defence witness John Ishmael Afoko and he was accordingly discharged for the defence to present its second witness today.

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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