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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Judge's life in danger, after jailing 6 cops

Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood
Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood
A justice of the High Court of Ghana, Mr Justice Iddrisu Mahamadu, says his life is in danger following the trial and conviction of six policemen and four civilians for robbery over which he presided.

The threat to Justice Mahamadu's life was reported to the Inspector-General of Police (lGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, by the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood.

In her report, Mrs Justice Wood conveyed to the IGP that following the conviction of the six policemen and four civilians, Justice Mahamadu had received numerous threats to his life.

Consequently, the IGP has directed the Operations Department of the Ghana Police Service to take immediate steps to protect the life, family and property of the High Court judge.

Last Tuesday, Mr Justice Mahamadu convicted the six policemen, including Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Patrick Kwapong of the Rapid Deployment Force of the Ghana Police Service, and four other civilians to a total of 200 years after they had been found guilty of attacking and robbing a Switzerland-based Ghanaian businessman at a hotel in Accra on February 2, 2009.

The convicts are DSP Kwapong, Chief Inspector Thomas Adu, Sergeant John Agyapong, Corporal Lawrence Dennis Quansah, Lance Corporal Karimu Muntari and Constable Blejumah.

The rest are Aams Amanor, Kwasi Tawiah, Peter Kwame Gyasi and Bismark Ampofo.

The convicts, with the exception of Kwapong, who was charged with conspiracy, were convicted to 20 years each on each count to run concurrently.

Constable Ken Duodu Acheampong and Jeffrey Kwame Atta, alias Kay, who are currently on the run, were tried in absentia.

Responding to the Chief Justice's complaint, the IGP said he had referred her request to the Police Operations Department to assess the present situation and discuss measures to protect Justice Mahamadu, who sat as a Circuit Court judge.

He said the Police Administration believed in the rule of law and would not tolerate any acts that would discredit the judicial and democratic credentials of the nation.

He explained that although the judge might have an escort, it was important that the threats were assessed on their merit and appropriate steps taken to deal with them.

Mr Quaye said the conviction of the policemen should send a signal to the rest of the personnel that the Police Administration would not tolerate any acts of indiscipline in the service.

Soon after their conviction, some of their family members wailed and vented their anger on the judge and some journalists outside the courtroom.

They openly cursed and rained unprintable insults on the trial judge, who was escorted to his vehicle by court clerks and policemen.

It took the warrant officers of the court, other policemen, prosecutors, among others, to prevent violence between two of the convicts, Ampofo and DSP Kwapong.

Ampofo was eventually dragged out of the courtroom in handcuffs without his grey shirt, which got torn in his bid to attack DSP Kwapong.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

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