Ivorian Ex-minister refused bail again
By Helena Selby
The Ivorian Ex-Minister for Budget, Mr. Justin Kone Katinan was again denied bail yesterday, when he appeared before the Osu Magistrate Court, after the prosecution sought for one more adjournment to undergo further investigation into the murder charges leveled against him.
The Prosecutor, DSP Abraham A. Annor, told the court, presided over by Mr. Aboagye Tando that there was the need for Interpol Accra and Abidjan to correspond in order to create a connection to the crimes the accused person had allegedly committed, adding that both Interpols exchanged documents last Monday and, therefore, needed more time to straighten things up.
He stressed the fact that the right and liberty of the accused person was at stake, noting that “Justice hurried is justice buried”.
The counsel for the accused person, Mr. Patrick Sorgbodzor, in his submission for bail expressed shock as to why his client is being charged with two counts of murder, where as his supposed accomplice, who has been held in Cote D’Ivoire has not been charged with that.
According to him, investigation he had conducted so far reveals that Diallo, the alleged accomplice of the ex-minister has been held in custody but on the charge of murder.
He said Diallo’s lawyer, whom he had contacted, wrote to him that the Ivorian Authorities have charged Diallo with certain offence, but not with murder, and has not been arraigned on any.
The counsel further emphasized that if Accra and Abidjan Interpol are now exchanging documents on the supposed crimes committed by the accused person, then on what bases is the accused person being arrested, adding that the charge sheet has inadequate information because the prosecution has not been informed as to how the accused person committed those crimes.
Mr. Sorgbodzor told the court that the State Attorney, Merley Wood, had informed the Osu Court they would withdraw the charges before the District Tribunal, but went ahead to show the judge the Osu District Court proceedings.
He mentioned that it was not a good idea for the state to pursue two parallel extraditions proceedings, since that will be irrational, adding that the accused person has his passport seized even though he has an “asylum seeker certificate”.
The Judge, in his ruling, stated that it was not proper to have extradition process in two separate courts, because it will bring confusion. He, therefore, adjourned sitting to tomorrow for prosecution to inform the court on the way forward.
Katinan is facing one charge of conspiracy to commit crime, contrary to Section 23 (1) 149 of Act 29/60, and two counts of murder contrary to Section 46 of criminal code 1960 (act29) of Ghana. His plea has not yet been taken.
Narrating the facts of the case to the court, the prosecutor told the court that on March 201, at about 7:00pm, the accused person conspired with his accomplice and murdered a-33-year-old welder by name Kamagate Seydou, a resident of Port Bouet, a suburb of Abidjan.
DSP Annor continued that on March 29, 2011, the accused person again conspired with his accomplice, attacked and murdered a-37-year-old trader, Diabate Drissa, also at Port Bouet.
“On September 25, 2012, Ivorian authorities issued an arrest warrant in respect of the accused person and informed Ghanaian authorities that the accused person had been seen in Ghana and therefore requested assistance to arrest him”, the prosecutor told the court.
He further recounted that on September 28, 2012, the accused person was arrested by the police and sent to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters and is currently in detention at the department.
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