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General News of Thursday, 5 April 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Lawyers for Kwabenya jailbreak suspects unhappy with delays

The lawyers for the ten suspects standing trial over the attack on the Kwabenya Police Station which led to the freeing of seven inmates and the killing of an officer, have expressed their frustration with the delays in the case after the court again adjourned sitting to Monday, April 9.

The sitting had been initially moved to Thursday because the Judge was not available to sit on Wednesday, only for another adjournment to take place today.

The lawyers say the situation is a worry for their clients who have been in detention for weeks.

Speaking to the media, one of the lawyers for the accused persons, Kwame Owiredu, said the liberties of his clients were being “curtailed.”

He stated that despite the court stating that it wanted to rule on the case quickly which was part of the reason not to grant his clients bail, the constant adjournments have placed them in a difficult position.

“There was communication from the judge that they should be brought today [Thursday]. We are here today [Thursday], and we are getting information that the court isn’t sitting and the matter has been adjourned to April 9. We are worried. Three weeks ago, we applied for bail and the court refused and said that they would make sure that they expedite action on the trial. But for close to four sittings now, we have done no business,” Kwame Owiredu lamented.

“These people are behind bars, their liberties have been curtailed, and yet we can’t see any way forward as to when the trial will even begin. It’s worrying for us as lawyers, and it’s equally worrying for our clients who are behind bars. So we’ll see what to do going forward on the 9th when we come to court, and we still have no indication when the trial will start. We’ll know what to do.”

Two sentenced

Two of the jail-breakers who were re-arrested were sentenced to serve thirty months in prison after they pleaded guilty to the crime of escaping lawful custody and abetment to escape lawful custody.

The two, Prince Osei and Atta Kwadwo, were among the seven suspects who were assisted to escape police custody during the attack.

A third escapee who was also arrested, Kofi Darko, had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The other nine suspects, including a woman, pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, and were subsequently remanded in police custody.

The police had announced a GHc15,000 bounty for any information leading to the arrest of the other four suspects who were freed from police custody by the robbers.

The now deceased Police officer sustained gunshot wounds, and died whilst receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital.

He was the breadwinner for a family of seven with the youngest being three years.

‘No mercy’

Government condemned the attack on the Kwabenya District Police Headquarters, and pledged their support for the deceased officer’s family.