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16.08.2004 Crime & Punishment

Court Registrar jailed for embezzling court revenue

By GNA

Fiapre (B/A), Aug. 16, GNA- Collins Fosu Manu, a 56-year-old former Registrar of Sunyani District Magistrate Court "B" was on Monday sentenced to six months imprisonment in hard labour by a Circuit Court at Fiapre, near Sunyani in Brong-Ahafo for stealing 5,244,300 cedis belonging to the Judicial Service.

The court, presided over by Mr. Owusu Gyamfi, ordered Manu to refund the amount to the Judicial Service after serving his sentence. The amount was part of 19.112 million cedis allegedly stolen by Andrews Claude Achemakali, acting cashier and filing clerk of the Magistrate's court, who is also standing trial at the court. The 5,244,300 cedis was revenue deposited with Manu by some of the court's revenue collectors when Achemakali had travelled outside Sunyani.

The Magistrate deferred judgement on Achemakali till August 23, when he fell sick while on trial.

The case for the prosecution was that in September, 2003 when the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice George Kingsley Acquah whilst in Sunyani for a conference learnt about the case of embezzlement of funds by Achemakali.

The prosecution said auditors found that 19.112 million cedis could not be accounted for.

Achemakali was arrested but during interrogation he denied that some of the monies collected in his absence were handed over to him on his return.

The prosecution added that all the witnesses in the case who collected the revenue and deposited same in the absence of Achemakali said they paid such monies to Manu.

Achemakali also said he gave part of the money as "IOU" to some staff at the court.

In his defence, Manu admitted that he received all monies being revenues and deposited them on behalf of the cashier and Later handed over the monies to him on his return.

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