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14.11.2008 Crime & Punishment

Eleven Remanded For Assaulting Journalists

The Tema Circuit Court 'A' yesterday remanded in police custody 11 members of the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) task force for allegedly assaulting two journalists of the Daily Graphic who were performing their legitimate official duties.

The Court, presided by Justice Mrs Lorinda Owusu, also charged the accused persons with causing damage to a new Nikon D 40 digital camera (Zoom lens), estimated to cost GH¢850.

 

As a result of the assault, the complainants also lost their medicated spectacles, extra camera batteries, camera lens cover, GH¢20 and two shirts.

The accused persons are Ex WO 1 Joseph Owusu, Stephen Eshun, Alfred Nana Ampadu, Francis Adjei, and Charles Dougan.

 

The others are Isaac Duncan, Razak Mamudu, Abraham Adamani, Samuel Osei, Andrew Ackon and Roy Mereku.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault and 10 ing damage, and were to re-appear on Monday, November 17, 2008 .

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Adolf Otchere told the court that on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at about 1.15 p.m., the accused persons were on 'removal notices on metal kiosks and also demolishing unauthorised wooden structures in the vicinity of the Narh Bita Hospital and the Ever Green Supermarkets in Tema' when they encountered the journalists who were also on official duties .

He said the journalists, Mr Mark-Anthony Vinorkor, a reporter, and Mr Samuel Tei Adano, a cameraman, decided to have snapshots of the task force, in view of public complaints about the increasing number of unauthorised structures in the metropolis.

Chief Inspector Otchere said the task force did not take kindly to seeing the reporter and the cameraman.

 

 They thus had confrontations with Adano and eventually, they forcefully seized the new Nikon D40 digital camera, which he bought barely a week before the incident.

He said when Vinorkor, the reporter went to his aid, the task force assaulted him too, leading to the loss of their items as stated above.

Chief Inspector Otchere said the two, therefore, left the scene to report to the police.

He said the TDC task force also went to deposit the damaged camera at the Community 4 Police Station .

Chief Inspector Otchere said the two journalists were issued medical forms for treatment as a result of the beatings they received from the task force.

He said the police, after investigations, charged the members of the task force with the offence of assault.

The Counsel for the TDC task force, Mrs Brendalyn Aikins, who pleaded for bail for the her clients, claiming that they would always be present in court, describing the offence as a misdemeanour which did not merit any high-handed charge .

She explained that the men were performing their legitimate duty and, therefore, the media had no right taking shots of them.

Story by Rose Hayford Darko

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