Entertainment of Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Source: GNA

Deeba’s counsel turns up in court

Defence counsel for Deeba Acheampong, a musician facing extradition to the United Kingdom over alleged defilement and assault of his two step daughters, turned up in court on Tuesday.

Mr. Augustine Obuor apologised to the court for not appearing in court saying he was held up in another court. At today’s sitting Mr. Obuor prayed the Osu District Magistrate Court to give him time to secure all the proceedings to enable him defend the accused person.

According to counsel, apart from the proceedings, he also would conduct research so he could deal with the issue appropriately.

The court expressed its readiness to provide defence counsel with proceedings today and entreated him to draw its attention whenever he had some difficulties in procuring any documents in respect of the matter. “I wouldn’t allow anything to waste your time,’’ the trial judge declared.

The court said it was mindful of the need to protect the rights of the accused person as well as deal with the matter expeditiously; stressing that one issue could not override the other.

Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Principal State Attorney, did not oppose to defence counsel’s submission. At the last sitting, Detective Lance Corporal Ali G. Briamah, the investigator, gave his evidence after which he was cross examined by Mr. Bukari Abdulai, a friend of the court.

Mr. Obuor the substantive lawyer was expected to continue with cross examination today. The matter has been adjourned to February 28.

Deeba is facing five counts of defilement and assault under Ghana’s laws, raping a female under the age of 13 and assaulting a minor under the United Kingdom’s laws. Although the charges and the facts have been read out to Deeba in court, his plea has been reserved.

The facts of the case are that in December 2012, INTERPOL Accra received a request of arrest warrant from its counterpart in London to the effect that between 2004 and 2008, while living in the UK, the accused person had a relationship with a woman who already had two daughters, aged eight and six, from her previous relationship.

Subsequently, Deeba and the woman had two children from their union. Initially, they lived separately but when the woman went on night shift Deeba took care of the home and cared for the children.

That, the prosecutor said, continued until September 2008 when Deeba returned to Ghana to pursue his musical career.

But two weeks after his departure from the UK, Deeba’s step-daughter told her mother that her step-father had sexual intercourse with her on several occasions whenever her mother went to work in the night.

According to the prosecutor, on those occasions, Deeba invited the little girl into the bedroom to watch pornographic films with him, after which he would lay her on the bed, kiss her mouth, apply baby oil on his penis and have sex with her.

The little girl also alleged that the accused person sometimes had anal sex with her and that after each act he put a sanitary towel in her panties to avoid evidence of bloodstains and also hid his stained bed sheet.

She further alleged that Deeba threatened to beat her if she disclosed the acts to anyone. Deeba, the prosecutor said, assaulted the little girl’s sister between June 1 and 4, 2008 when she attempted to satisfy her inquisitiveness about what was happening to her sister and that led to a cut on the back of the girl’s head.

A medical examination on the little girl by a forensic physician, Dr. Ainsley Kassie, revealed extensive damage to her hymen as a result of vaginal penetration.

Deeba was said to have denied the offence when he was confronted by his fiancée, who later lodged a complaint with the police, following which a warrant was issued by the Northampton-Shire Magistrate's Court for the arrest of the accused person.

Deeba was arrested at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra during an undercover operation.

He has, however, denied the offence in his caution statement to the police.