General News of Tuesday, 5 November 2002
The Adjabeng Community Tribunal on Monday discharged Dr Sri Yogi Ram Beckley, a medical practitioner and occultist, who was charged with assaulting and kidnapping a class three pupil.
Dr Beckley’s discharge followed advice from the Attorney-General’s office recommending the discontinuation of the trial.
Immediately after the pronouncement, sympathisers of Dr Beckley clapped and started making noise in the court. But their jubilation was halted when the court clerks shouted, “order, order.”
The excited doctor smiled and interacted with his relatives and sympathisers when he left the court.
At Monday’s sitting, Superintendent of Police Mr Patrick Sarpong, the prosecutor, announced that they have received a letter from the AG’s office recommending discontinuation of the trial of Dr Beckley.
The tribunal chaired by Mr Elizabeth Ankomah after reading through the letter said: “Based on the letter from the A-G’s office with reference number SA 276/02 dated September 27, 2002, especially last page, the accused is hereby discharged.”
Defence Counsel, Mr Akwasi Bosumpem expressed his gratitude to the court.
Meanwhile efforts to get a copy of the letter to ascertain its content proved futile.
Dr. Beckley had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted five million cedis bail by a Regional Tribunal on June 25 after the Adjabeng Community Tribunal refused him bail.
The facts as presented by the Prosecution were that on April 12, Beckley was said to have lured a girl to his house under the pretext of buying some vegetables she was selling.
In the house, he tied the girl to a tree overnight without water and food, until her stepfather was informed and he raised the alarm.
Police on April 14 arrested Dr Beckley for abducting two teenage girls, one aged 13 to his residence at New Gbawe on Friday evening.
The girls, said to be selling tomatoes were allegedly contacted by Dr Beckley, who offered to buy all of their wares if they would follow him to his residence in his car. The children allegedly joined Dr Beckley to his residence.
He was said to have tied one of the girls to a tree in the house and then dragged the other into a room in the house.
Police said on Saturday, the 13-year old girl, whose name was not disclosed, heard the noise of a passer-by and shouted for help.
The passer-by, who was an old man, entered the house and approached the girl. After seeing the girl’s plight, he untied her from the tree and she gave the old man ?1,000.
The police said the girl then left for home and narrated their ordeal to her parents. The parents then reported the matter to the police, who later went to Beckley’s house and arrested him.
A police search at his residence, however, failed to produce the other girl, who was dragged into one of the rooms of the house.
Police mounted a 24-hour guard at Dr Beckley’s residence to prevent angry youth in the area from attacking and setting the house on fire but they eventually did.
Hundreds of people besieged the residence and stoning police and Fire Service personnel at the site.
Dr Beckley, a few years ago came in the news when human parts were found in his residence after which the angry youths in the New Fadama area set his house on fire.