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05.04.2004 General News

Judge calls for the streamlining of summoning suspects to court

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Tema, April 5, GNA- A presiding judge at the Tema TDC magistrate court on Monday called for the streamlining of criminal summons for suspects to appear before court on particular days.

Oseadeefo Osagyefo Nana Agyeman Badu, observed that verbal notices given by the police to warn suspects to appear before court were normally being treated with contempt, since there is no evidence of such notice. In the light of that, he suggested that the police should have a form on which certain vital information should be documented and shown as evidence should a suspect deny that he or she was in actual fact warned to appear before the court on a particular day.

Nana Agyeman Badu offered the suggestion when an accused person, Nana Adwoa Nyantekyiwaa, alias Sister was escorted to court by her defence counsel, Madam Vivian Vandyack and was immediately arrested by the prosecutor on bench warrant.

Nyantekyiwaa, who had being charged with assaulting a neighbour was not present in court when the case was first called and bench warrant was issued for her arrest.

Her lawyer denied vehemently that her client was summoned at the police station to come to court and this generated into about 12 minutes argument between her (lawyer) and the prosecutor during which tempers flared up and the judge had to bring the issue under control.

Some of the prosecutors and investigators present explained that normally verbal warning is given to suspects to appear before court because most of the time they themselves would not know the particular date and moreover they do not have the mandate to do so because the docket had to be sent to the Judicial Police, who goes through the case and gives a date. Based on the circumstances, the judge rescinded the bench warrant and granted her five million cedis bail to re-appear on April 19.