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General News of Friday, 12 July 2002

Source: Graphic

I've never killed a chicken in my life - Serial Killer

THE suspected serial killer, Charles Quansah, who is standing trial before an Accra High Court for murder, yesterday said that he confessed to murdering nine women in various parts of Accra and Kumasi in his caution statement under duress.

He told the court presided over by Mrs Agnes Dordzie that he was subjected to electrical shocks and other forms of physical torture by the police during investigations.

Quansah, who was opening his defence, said that he was often blind-folded, handcuffed from behind and beaten severely by the police during interrogation. In a sharp contrast to his caution statement, Quansah said, “I have never killed a human being or even a chicken in my life before”.

Quansah, who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Joseph Amui, said he did not know the late Akua Serwaa, who is being described as his girlfriend and who he is accused of murdering.

“I have never seen her anywhere before”, he added. Rather, Quansah said he had a girlfriend in Kumasi whose name is Akua Nyamekye and who is still alive.

Quansah admitted, however, that one of the murdered women, Joyce Boateng of Adenta in Accra, whom he described earlier as a woman he only admired, was actually his girl friend.

He, however, denied killing her.

According to Quansah, he heard of the death of Joyce on an Accra FM radio station while working on the farm of his employer in the Gomoa area. In all, he said he spent two months in police cells and nine in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), adding that “I was interrogated every three days under torture”.

He told the court that in one instance when he refused to sign the caution statement, the police used pliers to clip his eyes and other parts of his body to compel him to sign the statement.

He also recalled another instance when he was being escorted back to the cells after an interrogation session, and said one policeman pushed him on the stair case and he fell prostate on the steps, sustaining a cut beneath his jaw. Quansah told the court that during the latter stages of the interrogation five “white people”, including one woman, were brought in by the police to question him and said during the process, his pubic hair was shaved “and taken away”.

He said when he could no longer bear the pains being inflicted on him by the police, he finally yielded to their demand “and agreed to whatever they asked me to do”.

To a suggestion by Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Principal State Attorney, who led the prosecution team, that he has a soft spot for women, Quansah said, “it is only because I am free with everybody”.

Quansah earlier amused the court when he started his defence by saying that he wanted to seize the opportunity of his presence in the dock to thank the court for making it possible for him to be represented by a counsel. He was, however, cut short by the presiding judge who said that was not the purpose for which the court was sitting.

Quansah is alleged to have killed Akua Serwaa on January 19, 1996. The prosecution has told the court that the accused lived in Kumasi in 1996, and that on January 20, 1996, at about 8 a.m., a witness in the case, who is a watchman at the Kumasi Stadium, went out to inspect a newly-built kiosk near the stadium.

The prosecution said on reaching the place, the watchman found the body of a lady lying near a bush.

The watchman, who was terrified, quickly went back to inform his superiors about what he had seen, after which they rushed to the Asokwa Police Station in Kumasi to report the incident.

The prosecution said that a team of policemen was led to the scene, where they took photographs of the corpse and later conveyed it to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi for autopsy.

A pathologist’s report, the prosecution said, confirmed that the deceased died of unnatural causes.

“The deceased was living with her sister and brother-in-law at Anloga in Kumasi at the time,” the prosecution added.

After Akua Serwaa’s body was identified by her sister, investigations found that the deceased had visited her boyfriend’s restaurant on the night of January 19, 1996, in the company of her friend.

It was also found that after the deceased left the restaurant late in the night, she did not return home.

The prosecution said intensive investigations led to the arrest of the accused.