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21.07.2004 Crime & Punishment

Circuit court declines to sit over defilement case

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Kumasi, July 21, GNA- A Kumasi circuit court on Tuesday declined to sit over a defilement case transferred from the Nkawie magistrate's court on the grounds that the trial court erred in trying the case.

The magistrate's court convicted Akwasi Gyamfi, a 50-year-old farmer for defiling a nine-year-old girl in June this year at Bedabour, a village near Nkawie in the Atwima district.

The accused pleaded guilty.

However, the magistrate's court transferred the case to the circuit court for sentence.

The circuit court, presided over by Mr Ernest Yao Obimpeh, declined to sit on it, stating that the trial court erred in trying the case and convicting the accused since the Criminal Code states that magistrate's courts have no jurisdiction over defilement cases.

The court therefore considered the magistrate court's ruling as null and void and referred the case to the Supervising High Court Judge in Kumasi for advice.

Police Chief Inspector Regina Kesewaa told the court that the victim who lived at Bedabour with her father was sent by her father on June 10, 2004 to buy soft drink from a nearby village.

She said on her return, the victim did not meet her father who had gone to visit a friend in the next house and so Gyamfi who had also visited a friend in the house of the victim took advantage of the absence of the victim's father and defiled her.

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