Sekondi, July 30, GNA - The 2004 criminal assizes of the Western Region ended at the Sekondi High Court after six months of intensive work. During the period, 32 cases were disposed off, while one was adjourned sine die.
Out of the cases, 13 were tried summarily, while 15 were on the bill of indictment.
Mr Justice Clemence J. Honyenugah, the Assizes Judge, made this known at the closing session in Sekondi on Friday. The cases included 10 armed-robbery, nine murder, two manslaughter and four cases of conspiracy to commit murder.
Six other cases were adjourned to the 2005 session. Justice Honyenugah said a case of illegal possession of offensive weapons and four criminal appeal cases were also disposed-off. He expressed his appreciation to lawyers, jurors, and judicial staff, the Police, media and prison officers for their respective roles in making the session a success.
The Assizes Judge said, peace and stability should not be compromised, and that, armed robbers should not be allowed to suppress this right. He appealed to prospective armed robbers to change, " since it does not pay to be one".
Justice Honyenugah advised them to consult traditional rulers for land and venture into cocoa, teak and other farming to earn decent living. Ms Lucy Blay, President of the Western Regional Bar Association, said the number of cases settled within the six-month period was unprecedented in the judicial history of the region. She commended lawyers for willingly accepting to represent most of the accused persons on voluntary basis.
Mrs Valeria Amartey, Chief State Attorney, commended Justice Honyenugah for his hard work and for assisting the accused persons to know their fate through the judiciary.
Mr William Kpobi, Principal State Attorney, appealed to lawyers and judges to make plea bargaining for their clients one of the options to minimise the long wait in remand.