Mr. Kwame Akufo, counsel for Thomas Osei, aka John Doe, aka 'Babs', the man charged with driving dangerously into President Kufuor's official vehicle, has hinted that the accused might be charged with attempted murder, which would become a criminal case, and so the motor court would have no jurisdiction to hear the matter but a high court.
Akufo stated these while he was arguing for bail to be granted the accused when he appeared before a motor court in Accra last Friday.
Counsel noted that should his client be denied bail, then Babs would have to spend the Christmas holidays in custody, which to him was not proper.
Despite counsel's forceful arguments, bail was denied at the Accra Motor Court, presided over by Justice Samuel Diawuo and at the end of it all, the trial judge reserved Wednesday November 19, 2007 for ruling.
Both counsel argued on the bail application.
Mr. Edward Agyemang Duodu, who represented the state, told the court that fresh facts had emerged from their investigations and as a result, the Attorney-General's office would need additional time to complete the investigation, indicating that at the appropriate time, they would start with the case.
Just as he had finished with his submission, Kwame Akufo, counsel for Babs, prayed the court to take the plea of the accused so he could apply for bail on his behalf, as the prosecution had unreasonably delayed with their investigations.
He was of the view that the accused person could not be kept in custody for the mere fact that prosecution was still investigating the matter; therefore the court should look at the charges before it and not what was yet to be presented by the prosecution.
He noted that the charges, which were road traffic offences, were not in dispute and therefore saw nothing wrong with granting the accused bail.
He argued that the accused person, while on bail, would not interfere with investigations, since he was prepared to make himself available any time he was needed in court.
The State Attorney, on the other hand, in response to defence counsel's submission, noted that a road traffic offence was equally a very serious one which needed time to be investigated so the appropriate charges would be preferred.
He quoted some sections of the 1992 Constitution, which buttressed the point that until there was reasonable delay or prosecution had not acted timeously, there were no grounds for bail, and in their case, it was only a month, which in actual sense, did not fall under that law.
The 51-year old businessman recently slammed his car into a presidential convoy in which the President, John Agyekum Kufuor, was on his way to the Osu, Castle.
So far, the accused, who is in police custody, has been charged with four provisional counts of dangerous driving, negligently causing harm, driving under the influenced of alcohol and failing to give way to a presidential convoy.
Osei, then driving Mercedes Benz SE 500 saloon car with registration number GT 2989 W, was reported to have ignored the siren of the presidential convoy and drove straight into the rear side portion of the President's Mercedes Benz S500 saloon car, being driven by Mr. Osafo Addo.
The impact forced the President's vehicle to land on a VW Golf saloon car belonging to a certain Pastor Ken Joe Osei Kufour.
However, the President miraculously escaped unhurt although his driver and the pastor sustained various degrees of injury and were rushed to the 37 Military Hospital where they were treated and discharged.
By Mary Anane