11.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

No trial judge at Tepa courts

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Tepa (Ash), March 11, GNA - The absence of trial judges for the two law courts at Tepa, the district capital for Ahafo-Ano North, has brought the administration of justice in the area to a standstill. People who cannot afford to travel to Mankranso and Kumasi to seek justice opt for out of court settlement of their cases that are mainly on rape and defilement.

Mr Adams Coffie Philipson, the Circuit Court Registrar, told newsmen that both the circuit and magistrate courts have not been able to sit since July last year following the death of Mr Richard Kiya Hinidza, the circuit court judge.

He said there are 200 criminal and 150 civil cases pending before the two courts.

A police officer who wants to remain anonymous said police officers had to travel to Sunyani, a distance of 56 kilometres, to have coroner's forms signed.

Residents of Tepa have expressed dissatisfaction about the present situation and have appealed to the Chief Justice to send a trial judge to Tepa as soon as practicable to replace the late Mr Hinidza.

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