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27.04.2007 Crime & Punishment

Tsibu Darko Discharged

Tsibu Darko Discharged

The Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday discharged Prince Tsibu Darko after the state filed a nolle prosequi in the case against him.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Jones Dotse, an Appeal Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, also vacated its order for the Nyaho Medical Centre to keep the registrar of the court posted on Darko's health status.

It, however, declined a request from Mr Yoni Kulendi, counsel for the accused, for an order to defreeze the assets of Prince Darko, advising that the issue should be taken up in another application.

Darko was facing one count of engaging in business related to narcotic drugs and, according to the facts of the case, in the middle of 2005 he allegedly exported 3,700 kilogrammes of cocaine to Europe without lawful authority.

At its last sitting on March 27, 2007, the prosecution requested for an adjournment to yesterday because it had not completed investigations into the case.

Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, a Senior State Attorney, said the prosecution was still conducting investigations into the matter and that the position remained the same.

An application by Mr Kulendi at the last sitting that the court should discharge the accused person until a later date when the prosecution was ready to call him again was not granted.

He was first remanded by the Fast Track Court on November 23, 2006, almost 72 hours after another High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Abada, had granted him bail in the sum of ยข5 billion with two sureties.

The High Court, on November 20, 2006, granted the accused person bail after his counsel had made an application to that effect but the prosecution had earlier that day entered a nolle prosequi at the circuit court, resulting in the discharge of the accused person.

He was, however, not released on bail because the prosecution preferred fresh charges against him after entering the nolle prosequi at the circuit court.

At the court's sitting yesterday, Mr Kulendi said he could not oppose the nolle prosequi filed by the State except to state that it should have been filed earlier.

Story by Albert K. Salia