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22.10.2007 General News

‘Serial killer’s’ docket vanishes from court

By The Enquirer

The docket and record of the court proceedings in the case of the Republic versus Mr. Charles Quansah, the man convicted for murdering one of the 34 women serial killing victims, are reported missing from the registries of the High Court and Court of Appeal.

An appeal he filed five years ago, according to The Enquirer, cannot consequently be heard until the documents are found.

Quansah's appeal was filed on September 6, 2002, immediately after his conviction by an Accra High Court presided over by Her Lordship Mrs. Justice Agnes Dordzie, currently serving in The Gambia, as a judge.

The notice of appeal documents cited by The Enquirer said that the conviction was wrong in law and that the trial judge erred by directing the jury to disregard the evidence of one of Quansah's witnesses. It said further that the trial judge also misdirected the jury on the evidence of the accused hence "occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice."

The document which was cited in the custody of Mr. Joseph O. Amui, Quansah's lawyer and bears the stamp of the High Court, also served a notice that further counts of the appeal will be filed on receipt of the records of proceedings.

But some few days ago, this reporter and officials of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal spent hours combing through dusty files to see when the appeal will be heard but there was no trace of the case at all in both registries.

This means that until the docket and the record of the proceedings on the case are found, Mr. Quansah who has been sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of one Akua Serwaa in Kumasi, would not be heard.

In an interview with The Enquirer, the Chief Registrar of the High Court, Mr. S.P. Otoo would not say categorically that Quansah's documents are missing from the court.

Mr. Otoo who said he took office barely a year ago, was sure that his predecessor, one Mr. Issaka who is currently working with Mr. Yoni Kulendi's chambers, handed over the docket to the Court of Appeal Registry (Criminal Section), before going on retirement.

However, the registrar at the Criminal Section of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Jude Mensah, who said he has been at the section since 1998, insisted that no record on the case has been brought before him.

To prove his case, Mr. Mensah reached into the Appeal Register Book to verify whether somebody might have listed the case in his absence, but after a while, there was nothing to show regarding Mr. Quansah.

He told The Enquirer that the High Court Registry is the proper outfit responsible for gathering records of cases that are to go on appeal, and submitting them to the Appeal Court Registry to be listed for hearing. But as it is now, there is nothing to show, implying that the High Court Registry did not do its job.

Back at the High Court, a man whose name was given only as Tony was directed by the Registrar of the Fast Track High Court, Mr. Rexford Gyimah to check the status of the case from the High Court files but after about 15 minutes, he told The Enquirer "there is no indication of any appeal."

Tony declined any question, however, another officer sitting next to him, who also gave his name as Cephas blamed Quansah's lawyer, Mr. Amui for failing to do the right thing for the case to be heard.

He asked The Enquirer to send a questionnaire on the status of the case to the Judicial Secretary, Mrs. Regina Apotsi to answer.

When The Enquirer reached Lawyer Amui, Quansah's counsel in his office, he was not surprised at all that the docket and the court proceedings cannot be found at the Court of Appeal, five years after he served the notice of appeal.

The Legal Aids Board requested Mr. Amui to handle the case for a fee but has since not paid him a pesewa. This is believed to be the cause of his seeming lack of commitment to Quansah's defence.

The 74-year old lawyer after showing his swollen right leg to The Enquirer, said when he gets well, he would personally go to the court to ascertain the status of the appeal and thereafter, visit Quansah in the Nsawam Security Prison.

Meanwhile, some prisons officers at the Nsawam Prison, who spoke with The Enquirer say Quansah, who the Police said openly confessed to killing 9 out of the 34 women, has since his placement on death row, maintained that his conviction was a case of injustice because he is innocent of the heinous crime.

Sources at the Nsawam prisons say Quansah has told them that he cheekily told the police detectives that he killed 9 of the women and not the 34 they were asking him to admit to. This he claims was what the interrogating officers twisted to mean that he confessed to killing 9 of the 34 women.

Meanwhile, the CID boss has said recently that the alleged confession upon which Quansah was jailed was not video taped or recorded.

Quansah, The Enquirer learnt has grown very hysterical about his trial and conviction because the said confession claims by the police team led by Mr. Asante Apeatu, ex-Director of CID, is untrue.

He told prison sources about how he was blindfolded on many occasions, handcuffed from behind, taken in a vehicle to unknown locations deep in the night and subjected to hours of gruesome torture which always left him bleeding profusely from his nostrils, ears and mouth.

The convict further alleged that despite the fact that the police arrested him in June 2000 for allegedly killing his girlfriend, Joyce Boateng of Adenta in the Greater Accra Region, he was rather charged for the murder of a certain Akua Serwaa, around the Kumasi Sports Stadium who died on January 19, 1996.

Mr. Amui has also told The Enquirer that during his trial, one Cynthia Nyarko, a prosecution witness who was said to be a sister of the late Akua Serwaa , could not identify Quansah, as someone who had intimate relations with the late Akua Serwaa as claimed by the Police.

Quansah also told the court that his real girlfriend in Kumasi by name Akua Nyamekye is still alive.

Quansah claimed that the police in a desperate bid to nail him, dragged him from Accra to an unknown location in Kumasi where they probably found Akua Serwaa's corpse, creating an impression that he willingly took the police to Kumasi and showed them the spot.

Some seven years ago the country was held to ransom with people especially women afraid to stay outdoors after nightfall as a result of what came to be known as the serial killing of women.

According to The Enquirer, post mortem examination records available at the Police Hospital indicated that the victims were mostly found lying in supine positions with their legs widely opened with blood or substances which had the semblance of semen on their vagina.