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General News of Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

BNI accused of denying lawyers access to British ‘drug lord’

Lawyer for suspected British drug baron who has been nabbed in Ghana, Victor Adawudu, is livid over what he says is the refusal of security agencies to grant him access to his client.

David McDermott was arraigned on Monday and charged with the offence of dealing in drugs but he reportedly appeared in court without a lawyer.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Adawudu argued that it will be unfair to deny his client access to a lawyer since he had not been proven guilty yet by the court.

“I am so sad that people still believe in kangaroo justice… that this country which believes in rule of law and good governance will still have people who believe in this…We cannot have access to our client. Even if he is a criminal, he lives in Ghana and the constitution is the Supreme law…. The court has been emphatic that until the person is proven guilty, the person should be given access to a lawyer,” he argued.

Mr. Adawudu further revealed that his client was processed for court without being informed about the decision – a move he described as inappropriate and unfair. He believes the court has breached the constitution by failing to give the suspect adequate time to prepare for his defence.

“They have breached the constitutional provision. Article 19 (2) c of the constitution which, among others, states that the accused should be informed, given adequate time and facilities for preparation of his or her defence.

“He should be given access but he has been held incommunicado,” he said.

State prosecutors revealed on Monday that McDermott holds a Ghanaian passport.

They claim his Ghanaian passport captured his name as David Smith who operates a mining firm in the Eastern Region.