Respected lawyer Ace Anan Ankomah has waded into the controversy surrounding the discharge of the eight Delta Force members, saying there is nothing the attorney general can do in the matter under the circumstances.
According to him, until the Police is able to find evidence of guilt against any of the suspects, the AG cannot win a case against them in court.
“I have read the memo signed by the Senior State Attorney in Kumasi. It was a cry for help. She was basically saying “guys, we got zilch. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zero. Nobody.” Can I break it down some more? She said the case presented to her had worse chances than that of an ice cube in hell.
“It wasn't her job or that of the Attorney-General to go investigating the matter and fishing for evidence. That is the work of the police. If the police give you nothing, you can't do jack. Guys, a case is only as good as the evidence that backs it,” he wrote on Facebook.
The comments come on the back of the public anger that has greeted the discharge of the eight by a Kumasi Court over lack of evidence, despite claims by government that the attorney general was not informed on the decision to drop the charges by the prosecutor.
The minority in parliament has criticised the action and called for a retrial of the individuals.
Below are details of the comments by Ace Ankomah
And so I am probably going to disappoint myself and several other people with what I am going to write about the Kumasi Delta discharge. But my head must speak on this matter, and not my heart.
I can remember the several times that I have had to look at the potential client sitting across the table, willing, prepared and able to pay anything for the case, but having to tell him/her that “I am sorry we don't have a case. We don't have the evidence to back your case up. We can sue; but we will lose. I am sorry about your situation. But the reality is that the law doesn't really care about your truth. The law only cares about what you can prove. If what you can prove, leads us to the truth, that would be perfect. But for the most part, your real truth alone may not win the day if it isn't backed by evidence. Evidence, even false evidence, beats the truth if truth has no evidence.” Or words to that effect.
Sometimes we are able to build the case from this weak position. But more often than not, it really is a dead end. Sad story. Sadder: a broken person just walked out of my office. Saddest: money just walked out of my pocket even before it entered.
Guys, trying a criminal case isn't a walk in the park. In civil matters, the case is proved based in the “preponderance of evidence”, which simply means “whose evidence has the greater weight? Who has the more convincing evidence? Whose evidence is PROBABLY accurate or the truth?”
But in a criminal trial, the standard of proof is way higher, way bigger and way heavier: “beyond reasonable doubt.” This is based on the strong presumption that the accused is “innocent until PROVEN guilty.” To rebut that presumption, the prosecution's evidence must meet this standard: that we cannot derive any other logical reason or explanation from the facts, but that the accused committed the crime. Thus any doubt is resolved in favour of the accused and often, all the lawyer has to do for the accused to walk, is to raise doubts.
I have read the memo signed by the Senior State Attorney in Kumasi. It was a cry for help. She was basically saying “guys, we got zilch. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zero. Nobody.” Can I break it down some more? She said the case presented to her had worse chances than that of an ice cube in hell.
It wasn't her job or that of the Attorney-General to go investigating the matter and fishing for evidence. That is the work of the police. If the police give you nothing, you can't do jack. Guys, a case is only as good as the evidence that backs it.
So let the police get back on the beat and bring something that ties some people to the offence. Till then, leave the AG and the Senior State Attorney alone.
You guys watch way too much crime and legal soaps on TV. This ain't no NCIS, Law and Order, LA Law, Matlock or Suits.