Regional News of Wed, 11 Feb 20040

AG Department and police asked to close ranks

Tamale, Feb. 11, GNA- Mr Ernest Debrah, Northern Regional Minister on Tuesday appealed to the Attorney-General's (AG) Department and the police to work closely to ensure that dockets were professionally prepared and handled so that criminals could not escape justice. He said often, criminals escape justice for lack of prosecution and evidence and that the public as laymen were getting disturbed and frustrated at the manner cases were lost while those same criminals continued to harass innocent people.

Mr Debrah was addressing Members of the Bar at the inaugural ceremony of the 2004 Criminal Session (ASSIZES) in Tamale. The Criminal Assizes is an event in the judicial service calendar where criminal cases are democratised, to give members of the community the chance to serve as jurors in the trial of serious criminal offences such as murder, rape, manslaughter and armed robbery.

It is also an occasion when members of the jury are called upon to determine the fate of criminals and suspects.

Mr Debrah said it was only when the AG's Department and the police were up and doing that criminals could be brought to book to rid the society of the nuisance.

Mr Debrah said armed robbery was becoming a major problem in the Northern Region and advised members of the public who might have been shielding criminals to give them up since they were doing a lot of harm to society.

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He said the security agencies were doing their best to rid Tamale of criminal menace but added that they could only make progress with the support and cooperation of the public.

The Supervising High Court judge, Justice Victor Cyril Doegah, advised prison authorities to always be punctual in bringing suspects to the courts to speed up trial.

He said 20 cases were made available for trial in this year's criminal session and called for the maximum cooperation from the public and all stakeholders to ensure that the jury and other members of the court carried out their work effectively.

He advised all jurors to be punctual at all sittings of the court adding that effective mechanisms were put in place to ensure prompt and regular payments of all their allowances.

Source: GNA

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