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Judge Fires Afoko’s Lawyer, Prosecutor Over Delays   
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An Accra High Court judge presiding over the trial of Gregory Afoko who has been accused of allegedly murdering Adams Mahama, Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has blasted both the prosecution and defence lawyers for delaying the trial.

The judge had slated the end of June to have concluded the trial which is approaching its fourth year since the accused person was committed by the magistrate court.

The prosecution has so far presented 10 prosecution witnesses, leaving three more witnesses for the state to conclude its case.

Appearing before the court yesterday, Mathew Amponsah, a chief state attorney told the court presided over by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah that his next witness is not available.

He said the witness was coming from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region but has not yet arrived as he was not sure whether the defence lawyer who during two previous sittings was not available because he was unwell will also be present.

This attracted the rage of the judge who expressed his disappointment about how the prosecutor was handling the case as though it were a “pure sabotage” of the court’s intention to prosecute the case expeditiously.

“I do not like the passive and indifferent way the prosecution is handling the case as if it were a pure sabotage of the good intentions of this court to have the case expeditiously prosecuted”, Justice Mensah fumed.

He said the case is entering its fourth year, and the situation is unfortunate considering the fact that the liberty of the accused person has been curtailed.

Even when the prosecutor attempted to apologise for his inability to present their next witness, the judge declined to take his apology.

Private legal practitioner, Gariba Francis Apam, also drew the anger of the judge when he attempted to relay the information given to him by his senior, Osafo Buabeng who is the substantive lawyer.

He had prayed the court to adjourn the matter to July 11, 12 and 16, 2018 but the judge simply will not budge, labeling the prayer “nonsense”.

“Tell your senior (Mr. Buabeng) he is trying to sabotage the court in this trial”, the judge added.

Bail Denied Again

Meanwhile, the court has once again declined to grant Gregory Afoko bail at the insistence of his lawyer who requested the court to admit him to bail.

Mr. Apam attempted to take advantage of the fact that the prosecution was unable to present their witness as basis for the court to grant his client bail.

But the presiding Judge denied the application saying there are more important issues in the trial which needed to be attended to than praying for bail at this time of the trial.

“Because somebody did not bring their witness you are happy and you are asking for bail. We are talking about bigger things, you are talking about bail. Application rejected”, Justice Mensah stated.

He subsequently adjourned the matter to July 3, 2018, ordering the prosecution to get the remaining three witnesses as well as the pathologist ready for a speedy trial.
Source: Daily Guide

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