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02.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Do not settle criminal cases at home - paralegals warned

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Apam (C/R), Feb. 2, GNA - Mr Charles Habiah, Project Co-ordinator of FIDA has cautioned paralegals against settling criminal cases at home.

"Criminal offences cannot be settled at home", Mr Habiah warned and added that any paralegal who did that could be charged with aiding and abetting.

Mr Habiah sounded the caution at a meeting with Gomoa District Paralegals Association at Apam in the Central Region. The meeting was to review activities of the Association for 2004 and map-out a working plan for this year.

The Association was inaugurated by officials of FIDA in the Gomoa District about a year ago to handle minor legal issues, especially those involving adolescents.

Mr Habiah mentioned abortion and rape as some of the cases, which could not be settled at home.

He said where it became very necessary that a pregnancy should be terminated, it should be done at a certified health facility and advised members to intensify sensitisation programmes on the roles of paralegals in the communities.

Miss Jane Quaye, Executive Director, FIDA, exhorted the executives of the Association to feed FIDA with information on their activities. Miss Quaye stressed on the importance of keeping proper records on activities of the Association.

Nana Apaade Abbam, Chairperson of the Association said financial constraints were retarding the progress of work of the Association.

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