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26.05.2007 Crime & Punishment

Police illegally hold suspect for four years

By myjoyonline

A 40-year-old trader who has been remanded in prison for four years without trial has been freed by an Accra Magistrate Court.

Francis Nsor had been remanded into prison custody since March 2003, on the offence of escaping from lawful custody, after he had been arrested on suspected robbery.

On March 13, 2003, Francis Nsor was arrested on suspected robbery and sent to the Regional Police Headquarters, Accra, for investigations.

He said while Nsor was in handcuffs, he jumped through the window in a bid to escape, but was chased and recaptured by the police.

The case docket was then forwarded to the Attorney General's office in Accra for advice after which instructions were received to the effect that Nsor should be charged and prosecuted on the offence of escaping from lawful custody, but was exonerated on the robbery charge due to lack of evidence.

Mr. Kojo Smith, counsel for Francis Nsor in his defence said though his client was arrested on March 13, 2003, the police failed to process him for court.

He said as a result, Nsor was kept unlawfully in prison at Ussher, Fort, Accra, and has been there for four years.

In his ruling the Judge, Mr. Yaw Twumasi-Ankrah, said it was unfortunate that the police kept the accused unlawfully in prison for all that long which is against the letter and spirit of the 1992 constitution.

Mr. Twumasi-Ankrah said if the accused had been tried immediately after his arrest and was even convicted, he would have served his sentence long ago.

He said in the light of the circumstance, the accused was discharged. Adding that, this, however, does not affect his alleged involvement in the robbery case.

Credit: The Spectator