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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tagor, Abass acquittal, A-G hints of action

Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu
Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu

The Attorney-General’s Office says it is in the process of advising itself on the next steps to take following the acquittal and discharge of Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor, and Alhaji Issah Abass who were in 2007 convicted for narcotic offences.

The AG said her outfit's attention has been drawn to the huge public debate over the Appeals Court verdict last Friday which set free the two incarcerated persons.

In the default ruling Tagor was charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs while Abass was also charged with a similar offence – carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs.

The Attorney-General, Betty-Mould Iddrissu, in an earlier interview with Joy FM said she had been conferring with police prosecutors on the matter.

A press statement released on Thursday and signed by Mrs Mould-Iddrissu, said “a cursory look at the basis for the acquittal and discharge of the two indicates that it is imperative to critically assess the entire process that led to the prosecution and subsequent conviction of Kwabena Amaning and Alhaji Abass.”

The statement also stressed that the A-G would not let the matter rest especially when the Appeals court flawed the High Court’s verdict in 2007 for possible violation of individual liberties and raised questions about the quality of investigations into the MV Benjamin saga.

The A-G said while it believes in the integrity of Ghanaian courts, it is also appropriate to “study [the issues] in depth since it will form the basis” of the decision to appeal the verdict or not.

Studying such details, it said, would bring “an objective conclusion” to the matter.

Justice for all

The Attorney-General also speaks of the ruling government’s commitment to ensure that every citizen gets justice.

"It is the NDC government’s primary aim to ensure that every citizen of Ghana is given a fair hearing in matters of criminal prosecution and this office will strive to maintain due process," it said.

The statement said government would ensure criminal elements, especially self-confessed drug barons, are made to face the full rigours of the law.

“It is important to note that the narcotics trade is of particular concern to Ghanaians. Government therefore has the primary responsibility to ensure that due process and the most stringent means are employed in investigation and prosecution of all suspects.

“Criminal elements, particularly self-confessed drug barons should not be allowed to walk our streets freely. Should this happen, it will send the wrong message particularly to our youth who are their unwitting targets,” it stressed.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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