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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 30 May 2015

Source: GNA

Sodomy trial: Court dismisses motion for stay of proceedings

An Accra Circuit Court hearing the case involving Dr Sulley Ali Gabass, a medical practitioner, accused of sodomising, a 16-year-old student on Friday dismissed a motion moved by the Defence Counsel for stay of proceedings pending an application for appeal.

The Court presided over by Mrs Rita Agyeman-Budu said the application for an appeal is no grounds for a stay of proceeding in the case.

She said per the law, the pendency of an appeal does not determine the continuation of proceedings in a case.

She therefore adjourned the case to Monday June 1, for the accused person to open his defence. The case was heard in camera.

At the last sitting, the Defence Counsel moved the motion for stay of proceedings pending an application for appeal, but the motion was opposed by the State, represented by Assistant State Attorney, Esi Dentaa Yankah.

The accused person had earlier filed a submission of no case but the Court dismissed the assertion, saying that, it was premature to conclude that Dr Gabass had no case to defend.

The prosecution, presented five witnesses; the first being the victim, followed by Manasseh Azure Awuni, a journalist, Sergeant Francis Odei-Asiedu, Dr Nii Adu-Aryee, and Mr Saajo Asimana, father of the victim, and closed its case.

At an earlier sitting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Aidan Dery told the Court that the accused person resides in Takoradi in the Western Region.

DSP Dery said in September last year, the victim became Dr Gabass’s friend on Facebook, a social media platform, and they communicated online and on the cell phone.

In October last year, Dr Gabass arranged and met the victim at Kasoa New Market, where he had anal sex with him in his car in front of a bank.

On December 28 last year, at about 1900 hours, Dr Gabass met the victim again at the same spot and had another anal sex with him, a and gave him a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone and GH?20.00.

The prosecution said the victim fell ill and when he informed Dr Gabass, he prescribed paracetamol tablets for him.

DSP Dery said Dr Gabass had three more anal encounters with the victim and after the fifth act, the victim started experiencing excruciating pains.

He complained to the accused person, who gave him money to go for medical treatment but the victim did not go for the treatment.

The prosecution said when the victim’s condition worsened he was sent to the Ahmadiyya Mission Hospital but was referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The prosecution said when the accused person was informed about the victim’s plight, he sent GH? 800.00 through the victim’s elder brother to cater for his hospital expenses.

DSP Dery said Anal Fistula and Anal Rectal Abscess surgical operations were performed on the victim, and it was during the session that he was diagnosed as HIV positive.

And with this the victim mentioned Dr Gabass as the one responsible for the ailment.

The prosecution said while on admission, the witness got wind of the matter and interviewed the victim, conducted background checks on the accused person, who was also interviewed.

In secret recordings, Dr Gabass allegedly confessed having anal sex with the victim.

Following media publications, the police initiated investigations into the matter and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit in Sekondi arrested Dr Gabass.

During police interrogation, Dr Gabass admitted knowing the victim as a friend but denied having anal sex with him.