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General News of Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Suspects’ sperm swabs ‘missing’ in GPHA murder case

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The biological samples extracted from persons standing trial in the murder of former Marketing and Public Affairs Manager of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Josephine Asante Tandoh, are not at the Forensic and Science Laboratory of the Ghana Police Service contrary to assertions by prosecution that they were taken to the police laboratory.

The samples, which include semen, body fluids, blood samples, footprints and fingerprints, were said to have been taken from the accused persons, namely Amos Aprako and Christian Agyei, driver and houseboy of the deceased, respectively.

Dr. Kofi Agyepong Afrifa, the Head of Forensic and Science Laboratory, who was subpoenaed by the Tema District Court to update the court on the progress of the laboratory analysis, told the court that he is unaware of any samples taken from the accused persons.

According to him, his outfit is currently working on the deceased which has nothing to do with the accused persons.

He disclosed that the lab received an order on January 28, 2019, to analyse some blood sample brought in by the CID and determine whether it contained spermatozoa and whether the blood sample matched that of the deceased.

Dr. Agyepong Afrifa stated emphatically that his outfit is yet to receive an order for extraction of sperms, body fluids and blood samples of the accused persons, contrary to earlier claim by prosecution that the samples had been extracted by the lab.

Asked to either confirm or deny whether they have extracted samples from the accused person, the Head of Forensic and Science Laboratory, maintained that he is uncertain whether samples had been extracted from the accused persons since records available to him do not state that.

“Per request available to me, A and B, the suspects may not be needed in this analysis. The request from the police is to determine whether what we have are semen and the blood; we have do match up with that of the deceased. So per the request, the suspects will not be needed,” Dr. Agyepong Afrifa told the court.

He further revealed that his department does not work on fingerprints and footprints samples although the court was told that the police lab was handling all the samples collected from the crime scene.

The police officer was unable to tell the court when the results of the samples taken would be ready to avoid the continuous delay of case.

One of the accused persons has been granted bail while the other was denied bail by an Accra High Court.

“My Lord, it is purely technical issues; we usually have annual maintenance schedule for our equipment because the things needed for maintenance and analyses we cannot get them in open market here and we have to order them outside the country. The people are supposed to make them available to us between 16 and 19 April but they have asked for one month extension so we can make the results available by the end of second quarter of this year,” he stated.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the accused persons have told the court that swabs were extracted from their clients.

Baba Jamal, counsel for the Christian Agyei, expressed disappointment with the manner in which the police are handling the case.

The GPHA top official was brutally murdered on January 13, 2019, at her residence.

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