The Principal State Attorney who insisted that the charges against 8 members of pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force be dropped offered an explanation for the decision.
In her reply to a letter from the prosecutor for her legal opinion on the case, she concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the suspects.
The suspects were standing trial for storming a Kumasi Circuit court and freeing 13 of their members who were standing trial for wreaking havoc at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council in March this year.
But according to the State Attorney, Marie Louise-Simmons, “the evidence available makes it extremely impossible to successfully prosecute any of the suspects.”
She noted that the main witness in the case; two police officers who were at the court when the accused persons committed the offence could not identify the suspects.
Read her opinion on the evidence provided below
From the docket, the incident occurred inside the KMA Circuit Court room. The evidence suggests that it was a very busy Court that day. However, only two (2) Policemen being the (CWO) in the Court were made to volunteer witness statements.
The complainant volunteered a statement, however, his statement does not suggest that he was a witness to the incident.
The statement of the two (2) Policemen clearly indicate that they could not identify any of the persons that forcibly entered the Courtroom that day in disregard of the judge’s orders and aided the escape.
Sgt. Asagre stated clearly that he could not identify any of the said criminals. Sgt. Evans Kugbeadzor also stated that his attention was on the safety of the judge and after ushering the judge into her chambers; he returned and realized that all the 13 accused persons and their supporters had left the court. There is no justification from the diary of action that the police got any confidential information about the identity of the action persons that aided the escape.
Again, after the arrest of the suspect, there is no indication that an identification parade was conducted for any of the possible witness to have identified any of the suspects.
All suspects have also denied in their statements that they committed any offence, Infact, none of them admitted that they entered the court room that day, though of them admitted being outside the court room that day.
It is basic principle in criminal prosecution that “there can be no better identification of an accused than the evidence of a witness who swears to have seen the accused committing the offence.”
As it stands now, there was not even a single witness who can aid the prosecution to identify any of the suspects. There is also no other piece of evidence that links of the suspects to the offence they have been charged with.
Despite the unfortunate and despicable incident that occurred the manner in which it occurred, the investigations conducted and the evidence available makes it extremely impossible to successfully prosecute any of the suspects here in.
I therefore advise that the charges of DISTURBANCE OF COURT AND RESISTING ARREST & RESCUE against the suspects must be dropped for lack of evidence to prosecute.
Gov’t denies sanctions drop of charges
Meanwhile, the government has denied that it sanctioned a decision to the drop charges against the freed Delta Force members.
The Ministry of Information in a statement copied to citifmonline.com said that the Principal State Attorney in the case did not consult the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo before dropping the charges against the accused.
It further hinted that it was further investigating the matter and will take the necessary actions to remedy the situation.