Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tagor's acquittal a blow to drugs war- Justice Minister
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould Iddrisu, says the acquittal of two alleged drug barons by the Appeals Court on Thursday after their conviction is a dent on government's fight against drugs.
Kwabena Amaning, alias Tagor, and Alhaji Issah Abass were in 2007 incarcerated for 15 years by a High Court for drug related offences.
That sentence was however quashed in a unanimous Appeals Court decision by three judges, who concluded that the trial Fast Track High Court erred in convicting the two because the prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove their guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
“It is a matter we take very seriously in law. It is a matter we take very seriously in the fight against narcotics, especially looking at the position of Ghana in recent times,” the A-G told Joy News' Dzifa Bampoe.
She said the government will read Thursday's ruling thoroughly and will consider all options available under the law, promising she will not let this case rest all.
Betty Mould admitted the judgment has the tendency to worsen the drugs trade in the country, but more importantly, the state, she said, has the responsibility to seek justice in all cases, if it has enough reason to believe wrongs have been perpetrated.
Asked if the state will not appeal against the decision, the Attorney General said emphatically “at present it is not an option we are looking at.”
Betty Mould said the decision came as a surprise, as the state had no illusion of winning the case.
The state will follow the due process of law and go to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision, she hinted.
In sharp contradiction to the A-G's assertions, Joe Aboagye Debrah, ex-lawyer for interdicted Police Chief Kofi Boakye, said the judgment is a vindication of their strongly held opinion that the earlier decision was perverse.
“Any lawyer who has followed this case from the beginning will not be surprised about this verdict.”
“The court re-established our belief in the rule of law and the ability of the court to deliver justice,” he asserted.
Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana
Source: myjoyonline - JoyFM Online
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