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General News of Monday, 14 January 2019

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Top government officials leave for Dubai over NAM 1 arrest

Top Ghanaian government officials including a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Dinkiok Kpemka, are expected to leave Ghana in the next few hours to the United Arab Emirates, to speak to issues surrounding the arrest of Menzgold CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah.

Officials of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), National Security, Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and other allied security bodies are expected to be part of the delegation, which was put together after an emergency National Security meeting earlier today.

They are expected to among other things, trigger a possible diplomatic agreement for the embattled CEO of the gold trading hub to be released to Ghanaian officials, as he is a subject of an existing circuit court warrant.

Today’s decision to send officials to the U.A.E also comes after it was established over the weekend that Mr. Mensah had been detained in the Arab country since December 7, over a gold trading deal gone bad.

While there is no connection between the Dubai case and the one Mensah is facing in Ghana – in which thousands have their monies locked up in his Mengzold gold trading scheme – the beleaguered customers say they are hopeful it will mark the beginning of of justice being served.

Extradition in UAE

The UAE has deployed since 2006 a specific Federal Law known as Federal Law no. 39 of 2006 on Mutual Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters.

This law permits the UAE authorities only to hear the formal procedures and conditions of the extradition request regardless of the nature of the crime.

The UAE is a signatory party to the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial Co-operation in 1983, which was signed by most other Arab countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

The UAE is also a signatory party to many bilateral treaties signed and ratified for judicial co-operation such as agreements with Australia, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Pakistan, Spain, the United Kingdom and Republic of Kazakhstan.

The UAE has set up a judicial mechanism made up of five stages enabling the person requested for extradition to challenge the extradition process as follows:

The Local Interpol Authorities in the UAE

The Public Prosecution heading the International Judicial Matters

The Court of Appeal

The Cassation Court

The Ministry of Justice & The Ministry of Interior

Article 7 of the Federal Law no. 39 of 2006 on Mutual Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters states the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for accepting extradition.

Article 9 of the same law states the legal obstacles that will lead to non-extradition.

Ghanaian officials may however rely on the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, 2010, to negotiate their way through.

Under the Act, a request for mutual legal assistance in a criminal matter includes a request for assistance

(a) to identify and locate persons;

(b) to examine witnesses;

(c) to serve judicial documents;

(d) to execute searches, arrests and seizures;

(e) to examine documents, objects and sites;

(f) for the transfer of proceedings for the prosecution of a serious offence.