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General News of Monday, 14 March 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Lawyer for British fugitive unhappy with prosecutors

Lawyer for the British fugitive arrested in Ghana over illicit drugs is accusing state prosecutors of violating the rights of his client.

Victor Adawudu says his client, David McDermott has been denied his right to counsel three days after he was arrested.

McDermott, 42, was picked up on Friday for his role in a £71 million worth of cocaine imported into the United Kingdom in 2013.

He is suspected of being a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group involved in a conspiracy to import and supply cocaine which was seized from a container of frozen Argentinian beef in May 2013 at Tilbury Docks. He is also wanted for conspiracy to blackmail.

Until his arrest, Friday, McDermott has been in Ghana for some three years and is married to the daughter of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
He was hauled before an Accra Circuit Court, Monday, on charges of illegal possession of drugs and dealing in narcotics. He has pleaded not guilty.

He has been remanded to reappear at a later date.
His lawyers are however angry at the manner in which the state has handled the matter.

Victor Adawudu told Joy FM's Evans Mensah Ghana is a country of laws so "good governance and respect for human rights should be the hallmark."
He does not understand why state prosecutors will prevent him from meeting his client, three days after he was arrested.

He was angry that his client was sent to the court without the necessary legal representation.

According to him, several attempts to see his client have been to no avail. "He had been "incommunicado," he said, adding, this "Kangaroo mentality" by state prosecutors must stop.

"It is so sad. Due process must be followed," he pleaded. He said his client is not feeling too well and also needs to have access to his pregnant wife.