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03.03.2009 Crime & Punishment

Prosecution substitutes charges against policemen


The prosecution on Tuesday substituted charges against three senior police officers who were alleged to have robbed a

Ghanaian businessman of his money and belongings at a Dworwulu Hotel in Accra.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Patrick Kwapong, Chief Inspector Thomas Adu and Sergeant John Adjapong who were earlier charged with conspiracy, unlawful entry and stealing have now been charged with conspiracy and robbery.

The court, presided over Mr Iddrisu Mahamadu did not take their pleas and remanded them into police custody to reappear on March 12.

On the next adjourned date, the court is expected to have six other accused persons, including two junior police officers who had earlier been remanded by the same court.

The lawyers of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Patrick Kwapong, Chief Inspector Thomas Adu and Sergeant John Adjapong prayed the court to admit them to bail.

Mr Kwame Nyakon Tetteh who represented Chief Inspector Adu and Sgt. Adjapong pointed out the need to withdraw the charges of conspiracy, unlawful entry and stealing before they could be put before another court.

According to Mr Tetteh, his clients were charged and arraigned at court of competent jurisdiction, which took their pleas and admitted them to bail and asked them to be reporting to the Police.

He said it was unfortunate that during one of their visits to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters to report themselves they were rearrested.

According to him the charges levelled against his clients did not support facts read out.

Mr G.H. Quist, who represented DSP Kwapong said once the case was still under investigation he would, for the benefit of doubt allow the Police to complete their investigations.

He therefore prayed for adjournment, noting that by that time, the Police would have conducted extensive investigations.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr George Abavelim who has now taken over the case said as a follow-up on the case involving the six other accused persons he was praying the court to remand the three police officers in custody.

ASP Abavelim drew the court's attention to the fact that, the earlier charges preferred against the three should be withdrawn and substituted with conspiracy and robbery.

According to him there had been some development hence the new charges brought against them.

Another court, presided over Mrs. Elizabeth Ankomah had earlier admitted Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Patrick Kwapong, Chief Inspector Thomas Adu and Sergeant John Adjapong DSP to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 cedis with two sureties each on charges of conspiracy, unlawful entry and stealing and they were expected to report to the Police every Wednesday.

On February 26, 2008 six other accused persons were put before Mr Mahamadu after they had been charged with conspiracy and robbery.

They pleaded not guilty and the court remanded them into police custody.

They are Corporal Lawrence Dennis Quansah, Constable Benjamin Blejumah, Aams Amanor, Peter Amanor, Kwesi Tawiah and Bismark Ampofo.

Meanwhile, Lance Corporal Karim Muntari, one Jeffery, aka Kay, and two others who are yet to be identified are said to be on the run.

The prosecution said Amanor knew Mr Kweku Duah, a Ghanaian resident in Switzerland, who was the complainant, when they were both in Switzerland.

The prosecution said sometime last year, Mr Duah discussed with Amanor his intention to come to Ghana to buy gold and he promised to assist the complainant.

Consequently, Mr Duah arrived in Ghana on February 1 and checked into Relax Hotel at Dzorwulu in Accra.

The following day, Jeffery armed himself with a pistol and he and Amanor together with Gyasi, Tawiah and Ampofo and two other Nigerians now at large went to the complainant's hotel room under the pretext of transacting business with him.

The prosecution said Quansah, Muntari, Acheampong and Blejumah all policemen and one soldier yet to be identified also came to the hotel.

It said Quansah, Muntari, Acheampong and Blejumah broke into the complainant's hotel room while Amanor pulled out a pistol on Mr Duah.

The accused persons assaulted the complainant and he bled from his nose. They further searched Mr Duah's room and took two envelopes containing 53,000 US dollars, 800 Euros, GH¢2,000 cedis from his pockets.

Not satisfied, the accused persons ransacked Mr Duah's room and made away with a black bag containing a walkman, CD players, one digital camera, two bunches of keys all valued 4,000 US dollars, and one Standard Chartered Bank cheque book.

The prosecution said the accused person arrested the complainant and abandoned him at Tema.

Mr Duah reported the matter to the Police and accused person were arrested.