It is uncertain who is paying for the prosecution of the suspected killers of the late Upper East Chair of the New Patriotic Party Adams Mahama.
Even though it is the practice and obligation of the state to take up expenses for the cases it is prosecuting, the family of the late Adams Mahama claims they are the ones footing the bills for some of the expenses involved.
According to the Spokesperson for the family, Mohazu Issaka, they have been saddled with the burden of paying for the transportation and upkeep of the witnesses the state is using to prosecute the state.
The Attorney General’s Department has not been available for comment on the matter over who foots the bills, at least for the witnesses but it appears the family has taken a serious view of the situation.
They have petitioned the Chief Justice to have the presiding judge removed from the case, accusing him of bias and making directives that are practically impossible for them to obey.
The judge, Lawrence Lazaglah Mensah is said to have directed all witnesses in the case to assemble in his court before 9:00 am, a directive the family is questioning.
Mohazu Issaka told Joy News all the witnesses, at least for the prosecution, are coming from Bolga in the Upper East Region and it will difficult to ask them to arrive in the court premises before 9:00 am.
Even though he admits that the witnesses may have to be transported to Accra, at least a day before the trial, he was quick to raise the issue about paying for the hotel bills and upkeep of the witnesses whilst they are in Accra.
In their 19-point petition presented to the Chief Justice for the removal of the judge, the family claims that the judge has consistently kept the suspect, Gregory Afoko in police custody instead of the prison custody.
Mohazu Issaka does not understand why the suspect would be appearing in court everyday in changed clothes and will be reading newspapers on his way to court.
He believes the situation would have been different if the suspect(s) were to have been kept in prison custody.
Gregory Afoko and two others, one of whom is still at large, are being tried for acid killing of the Upper East Region Chair of the NPP late last year.
The suspects were said to have laid ambushed for the deceased person and bathed him in an acid.
He was declared dead the following day from the complications from the acid. The suspects were arrested several days later.
The Adams Mahama family are in search for justice and they believe, they will not get that justice from the judge.
Reacting to the claims of the family, a legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini told Joy News it will be strange if the family were indeed the ones paying for the transportation of the witnesses.
He explained just as the state has duty to the jury by paying for their transportation to the court [if they live at least four miles away court] the same state has the duty to transport the witnesses to the court if it wants to win the case.
He found it difficult to understand how a state prosecutor would be able to adequately coach or prepare a witness before he or she gets into the dock, if that witness were to arrive late into the court room.
“Those are the responsibilities of the state,” he said, adding, “the witness is coming to give a favorable testimony to the state” and the AG’s department has a responsibility to ensure the witness is well conditioned before he or she gets into the dock.
On the issue of bias against the sitting judge, Samson Lardy Anyenini questioned the basis and grounds for the family’s demand to have the judge removed.
He explained it is practice for parties in a case including the witnesses to sit in court before the judge arrives.
He noted that the High Court begins sitting at 9:00 am and no matter which judge sits on a case, the time for proceedings will not change neither will the practice of witnesses appearing in court before the judge.
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