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21.01.2004 Regional News

Teacher assaults girlfriend

By GNA
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Prestea (W/R), Jan 21, GNA- The Prestea Magistrate's Court on Tuesday fined Emmanuel Kyei Amoako Cudjoe, a 33-year-old teacher at Bondae DC JSS, five million cedis or in default go to prison for two years for assaulting his girlfriend Margaret Kissiwa, a 33-year-old hairdresser at Prestea

The court ruled that Miss Kissiwa would receive 4.5 million cedis of the fine as compensation.

Detective Corporal Solomon Keelson told the court that the two have been friends for two years and on December 29, last year Emmanuel accused Margaret of being unfaithful and invited her to his room for reconciliation.

But a misunderstanding ensued and locked Margaret in room and assaulted her for two days. Efforts by people to save Margaret proved futile till the police forced the door open and arrested Cudjoe.

Popeler did not give me any money- Casely-Hayford

Accra, Jan 21, GNA- Ralph Casely-Hayford, a businessman standing trial at an Accra Fast Track Court in the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) divestiture case, on Wednesday denied ever taking any money from a prosecution witness.

Giving evidence under cross-examination, Casely-Hayford admitted that even though Mr Etienne Popeler, the witness, and former Managing Director of GREL, came to his office at Pig Farm in the company of two other prosecution witnesses, he Casely-Hayford, never spoke to Popeler. He told the court that when the three people, namely Dr Albert Owusu-Banarfo, Madam Georgina Okaiteye and Mr Popeler, came to his office, he Casely-Hayford, did not enter into any discussions with Mr Popeler.

Casely-Hayford said it was rather Madam Georgina Okaiteye, member of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM) who, on that particular occasion, handed over an invitation letter to him for a party. He disagreed with a suggestion by Mr Osafo Sampong, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), that the visit was not to deliver an invitation, but to see how best he could assist a French company called Societe Industrielle Plantation Hevea (SIPH) to win the bid for GREL. Casely-Hayford disagreed with a suggestion that on one occasion, Mr Popeler gave him an amount of 70 million cedis at his Pig Farm office, out of which 60 million cedis was to be sent to Mr Dan Abodakpi, former member of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) board to help influence other members of the committee.

Casely-Hayford is being tried with two others for their alleged involvement in corruption in connection with GREL's privatisation. The two are Hanny Sherry Ayittey, treasurer of the 31st DWM and Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, former executive secretary of the DIC.

Casely-Hayford and Agbodo face one count each of allegedly accepting bribe to influence a public officer, while Ayittey is facing three counts of allegedly receiving bribes, and corruption. They have all denied the charges, and are currently on bail in their own recognisance.

Ayittey has Mr David Lamptey as her counsel, while Agbodo and Casely-Hayford are being defended by Mr John-Hanson Senoo and Rodney Heward-Mills respectively.

Earlier, the court dismissed an application for stay of proceedings filed by Mr Lamptey, pending the final determination of an appeal on behalf of his client at the Court of Appeal.

Dismissing the application, the trial judge, Mr Justice J C Amonoo-Monney, stated that there was no provision in the law that allowed a lower court to stay its own proceedings, pointing out that the power to stay proceedings in a court below was vested in a higher court. Before the case could be adjourned to Thursday, January 29, Mr Lamptey hinted the court that Monday, February 9, has been fixed by the Court of Appeal, for the hearing of his motion for stay of proceedings at the Fast Track Court.

Mr Lamptey stated that the stay had become necessary because the Court of Appeal has to first determine the fate of his appeal against the Fast Track Court's ruling on his submission of "no case" on behalf of his client.

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