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General News of Monday, 20 June 2011

Source: GNA

Court adjourns mass rape case to June 21

Accra, June 20, GNA - A Circuit Court in Accra hearing the case involving Amina Mohammed, a hairdresser, on the alleged mass rape on a bus, on Monday adjourned to Tuesday, June 21.

This was after a Senior State Attorney, Paul Abariga Asibi, had prayed the court 93to adjourn the matter for a short period because of the inability of the leading counsel to proceed with the cross-examination of a prosecution witness since he was not in court at the last sitting."

The court presided over by Mrs Patience Tetteh-Mills obliged and adjourned the case to Tuesday, June 21.

The leading counsel, Professor Ken Agyemang-Attafuah, who was present in court did not know where his co-counsel had reached at the last sitting.

At the last sitting, seventh prosecution witness, Mr Issac Akudahu, a tickets seller at Priceline Consult Limited, told the court that he issued receipts and took down names, phone numbers and ensured that passengers board Yutong buses.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Akudahu explained that sometimes when issuing receipts to many passengers at a time, some of them do not wait for either their phone numbers or their names to be recorded because they were in a hurry.

When the prosecution asked Mr Akudahu about the final destinations of the passengers, he replied 93My Lord we have Accra to Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Bawku and Tamale. Sometimes we load passengers traveling to various destinations onto a bus and they alight on the way until the final destination."

Prosecution: "Do you remember how many passengers were on board the bus on October 11, 2010?".

Witness: "My Lord, the bus, normally takes 47 passengers but on that day it had 32 passengers because a pastor loaded the remaining seats with some goods."

Mr Akudahu said some hours after the bus had left the station, the driver called to inform the office that some robbers had attacked them on the way.

Counsel for Amina, Mr Andy Appiah Kubi objected to the claim, saying it was third party information from somebody else and this is a hear-say because the witness was not representing the company.

However, Mr Akudahu said the driver called him on his personal phone but later heard on radio that armed robbers had attacked the passengers and continued that he became afraid that he could be a victim when traveling to his hometown.

During cross-examination, defence counsel Appiah-Kubi asked witness if he could speak any other Ghanaian language apart from Hausa.

Mr Akudahu replied "I speak Mossi."

Defence Counsel: "What is your capacity in the company?"

Witness: "I sell tickets."

Defence Counsel: 94Do you have any other responsibility apart from the ticketing?"

Witness: "In addition, I give money to the drivers."

According to the prosecution, Amina lives at Ashaiman, near Tema. On October 11, last year, Amina together with her mother boarded an Accra-Tamale-Bolgatanga bound bus to attend a funeral.

The accused alleged that during the journey, they were attacked by armed robbers at Kubease, near the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority barrier, during which the armed robbers compelled men on the bus to have sex with the women, and a man, who was traveling with his 14-year-old daughter, was forced to defile her.

The prosecution said the allegation was reported on a radio station and thereafter several radio stations took up the story and published it, thereby causing fear and panic.

The prosecution said when the driver of the bus was contacted, he told the police that on that day, he left Accra with 47 passengers for Bawku through Tamale and Bolgatanga.

The driver said at about 2200 hours he saw a road block mounted by armed robbers but he drove through it and lodged a complaint at the Ejisu Police Station and continued the journey to his destination.

The prosecution said Police investigations confirmed that there was an attempted robbery at Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, but there was no mass rape as alleged by the accused person.

The case was adjourned to Tuesday, June 21.