Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 18 October 2012
The State says the two cases involving Justin Katinan, an ally of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, currently in custody would go on simultaneously.
Mrs Merley Wood, a Chief State Attorney, appearing before an Accra District Magistrate Court on Wednesday said her instructions were that the two cases would run parallel.
Mr. Patrick Sorgbodzor urged the court not to allow itself to be used to practice the state of absurdity adding, “there was no basis for the state to pursue the two cases”.
The Magistrate, Mr. Ali Baba Bature gave the State one week to come before it properly else would strike out the matter.
According to the court, Katinan’s rights as a refugee should be respected and he was not to be kept in custody with common criminals who might harm him.
On October 16, this year, an Accra District Magistrates’ Court asked the State Attorney to appear before it and explain the state of affairs in the case of Katinan.
According to the court, presided over by Mr. Ali Baba Bature, the State had declared its intention to withdraw the charge of murder against Mr. Katinan and put him before the Osu District Magistrate where he is facing robbery charges. When the case was called yesterday, Mrs Merley Wood, a Chief State Attorney, who had earlier prosecuted the case, was not in court.
However, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham Annor, also a prosecutor, prayed the court to remand the accused person to enable the International Police (INTERPOL) Accra and Abidjan to exchange some correspondence.
At the Osu Court today, the matter was adjourned to October 24. Katinan was earlier on put before the Osu District court following charges of robbery preferred against him but was however granted GHc50,000.00 bail.
However on October 1st, this year, he was brought before an Accra Magistrates’ court charged with conspiracy to murder and two counts of murder. Katinan was said to have conspired with one Dalo Desire in Cote d’Ivoire to murder two men at Port Bouet in the Ivorian city of Abidjan.
According to the report, the first murder of a 33 year-old welder, Kamagate Seyobou, took place on March 19, 2011 while the second one, Diabate Drissa, 37, a trader, also took place on March 29, 2011, both at Port Bouet. Katinan’s plea was not taken and he was remanded.
The state said on March 19, 2011, Katinan conspired with Desire to murder Seydou in Port Boute in Abidjan. According to the state, Katinan and Desire on March 29, 2011 also attacked and murdered Drissa.
A complainant, known as Kamgate Bakary, reported the incident to the Ivorian authorities. On September 29, this year, Ivorian authorities issued a warrant in respect of Katinan and informed the Ghanaian authorities that he was in Ghana and demanded his arrest.