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27.12.2006 General News

Tsibu Darko Refused Bail Again

By William Yaw Owusu
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CONTRARY to speculation, the Accra Fast Track High Court last Thursday, again refused bail to Prince Tsibu-Darko, a Tema-based businessman who is standing trial for allegedly exporting 3,700 kilogrammes of cocaine to Europe.
That was the third time the court refused him bail. As the prosecution had submitted that they were no longer opposed to the granting of bail to Tsibu-Darko, there had been wide speculation that bail would be granted. Led by Mrs Yvonne A. Obuobisah, a Principal State Attorney the prosecution said they were no longer opposed to bail because investigation into the case had not been concluded and also for the fact that Tsibu-Darko’s health was deteriorating.
They therefore asked the court to exercise its discretion in granting the bail and the setting of conditions that would ensure that Tsibu-Darko come back to stand trial raising the defence counsel’s hopes that his client would be granted bail.
But Justice Dotse adjourned the case to January 24, 2007 for the defence team to make a formal application before the court.
When the case was called the court refused the bail application on the grounds that the defence counsel had not satisfied the court on the issue of bail.
The judge explained that although Tsibu-Darko was indisposed, the defence counsel had not attached a comprehensive medical report to warrant the grant of bail.
The court further said that there had not been an unreasonable delay since investigations into the matter are ongoing.
Before adjourning the case, the judge said: 'I will decline the bail for now but I will not shut the window for the grant of bail in this matter'
'I will give the defence team an option to arrange a new date with the Registrar of this court before the January 24, 2007, so that we can hear the application,' Justice Dotse said.
Tsibu-Darko appeared at first at an Accra circuit court on August 16, and has since been on remand.
On November 22, the prosecution entered a 'nolle prosequi' (unwilling to pursue) in the case. He was however, re-arrested soon after and arraigned him before the Fast Track Court.
Tsibu-Darko has pleaded not guilty to engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs.

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