From John Bediako, Tema
The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) District Court has ordered the police to make available to the legal counsel of accused persons the comprehensive autopsy report conducted on the body of Mrs Josephine Tandoh Asante.
The former Marketing and Public Affairs Manager of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) was murdered in cold blood on January 13, 2019, at her Emefs Hillview Estate, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region.
Two persons, Christian Agyei, the houseboy, and Amos Apeku, her official driver, are currently assisting police to investigate the murder.
The order by Her Ladyship Akosua Anokyewaa Agyapong follows a submission by Mr Isaac Eshun, legal representative for the official driver, that the police investigation seems to be relying solely on the forensic inquisition.
He opined during the hearing of the case yesterday, that the availability of the comprehensive autopsy report will also assist the detectives with their investigations into the murder.
Prior to this submission, Mr Baba Jamal, Counsel for the houseboy, told the court that, but for the fact that his client was still in custody, he would have allowed the police to come out anytime they think reports of the finger and foot prints would be ready.
The Magistrate, on April 8, 2019, ordered the police to produce the result on April 18, 2019 of finger and footprints of the two accused persons.
On the adjourned date, the Magistrate was said to have traveled and a new date fixed for yesterday, Thursday May 16 2019. When the case was called, the prosecution told the court that the fingerprint examination had been completed, but the report was not ready.
Based on the report by the prosecution, Mr Jamal stated that the police were flouting the orders of the court, and that he is worried over the delay.
According to him, since the Director of the DNA Unit of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) informed the court of ongoing maintenance work at the installation to pave way for the scientific analysis, there has not been any update to suggest the readiness or otherwise of the facility. He asked the court to order the police to expedite action on the tests.
It would be recalled that after the murder of Mrs Asante, the police in Tema were the first to arrive at the scene, and after preliminary investigations, took away the body to mortuary.
In the course of examining the body at the scene, the police detected the presence of what was said to be semen. Based on this, the two suspects – houseboy and the driver of the deceased – were picked between the first and eighth day after the murder, and arraigned before the court.
At the request of the police, the court ordered the DNA of the suspects to be determined at the FSL. Just around the same time, the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) called for the case docket from Tema to continue with the investigation.
The Directorate of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service immediately issued a press statement to debunk the assertion by the Tema police of the presence of semen on the body.
When the result was not forthcoming, a subpoena was issued for the head of the unit to appear in court. The Director of the FSL was emphatic that the facility was undergoing maintenance, and that the court should give them up to the end of this month (May), to complete the rehabilitation.
The court, therefore, gave the police the ending of next month to produce result of the DNA test.
The head told the court that, as the head of the unit, he was not aware of tests involving the two accused persons.
The request to him was to analyse if the substance found on deceased contains spermatozoa, and if the blood collected from the scene was that of the late Mrs Josephine Asante.
He further told the court that his unit was not responsible for fingerprint analysis.
The case has been adjourned to the May 30, 2019.