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General News of Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Nigerian pirates case adjourned; No fuel to transport suspects

For lack of fuel to transport eight suspected Nigerian pirates, the Adjabeng Magistrate Court in Accra has had to adjourn hearing to February 19, Joy News' Kwakye Afreh Nuamah has reported.

The accused persons including one Molih Williams and Peggy Aki have been charged for conspiracy to commit crime and piracy.

The court was however unable to proceed with the trial today as BNI officials failed to present the suspects before the court.

Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah reported there were difficulties in transporting the suspects to the court.

The suspects are said to be held in different locations and there was no fuel to transport them.

Her Worship Afua Sakyi said she had been informed about the challenges in transporting the suspects to the court for trial.

Counsel for the defence was unhappy with the failure by the state to allow him access to his clients.

Uche Nwosu said since the case was last heard on January 27, 2015 he had not been allowed to see his clients despite several efforts.

The State prosecutor Victor Dosu said given the high-profile nature of the case, the defence had to follow due procedures before being allowed to see his clients.

Her worship was not happy with the response and described the posture of the prosecution as unacceptable.

She directed the prosecution to revise their posture within one week and take steps to allow the defence counsel to see his clients.

After hearing, Uche Nwosu told Afreh Nuamah the manner in which his clients were treated shortly after the arrest was unacceptable.

"An accused person is deemed innocent until proven guilty. How then do you deny the person any opportunity to canvass his defence?

"I am not happy at all. It does not fall in sync with what the law says. And the practices and procedures of criminal justice in Ghana does not sanction a situation where you deny an accused person that right to canvass his defence".

He said the manner in which they were chained during the arrest was unacceptable.

"If you saw those pictures of people blindfolded their arms shackled at their backs and chained to post that is not how you treat anybody even if they are suspected criminals.

"The constitution says everybody is entitled to respect for human dignity you don't dignify a human being by treating him in that manner even if you suspect the person to have committed a crime," he said.

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