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19.01.2006 General News

Palaver Editor Acquited!


Court acquits and discharges Palaver Managing Editor Accra, Jan. 19, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court on Thursday acquitted and discharged Mr Jojo Bruce-Quansah, Managing Editor of the Ghana Palaver, on charges of deceit of public officer. This was after the court upheld a submission of no case his counsel filed.

His counsel Nana Adjei Ampofo said he was happy that the Court had freed his client, who was dressed in a white jumper.

The Court in its ruling declared: "I have painstakingly gone through both submissions and I am satisfied that the ingredients to sustain a conviction had not been proved."

It observed that the Prosecution could not establish how Mr Bruce-Quansah with his intent perverted the course of justice. "If the medical officer of the Police Hospital, Dr Samuel Otu Nyarko did not believe the offence committed against the accused why should he prescribe painkillers which are stronger than paracetamol for him?" the Court asked.

"I am satisfied that enough evidence have not been made to merit the accused person to be called upon to open his defence." Mr Bruce Quansah, who was standing trial for deceit of public officer, had pleaded not guilty.

He was admitted to bail.

Earlier, Nana Ampofo referring to the charge against his client noted that the public officer believed to be deceived had not been named.

"From the charge sheet, the Prosecution has the duty to satisfy the Court with sufficient evidence that the intent of the accused was to deceive a public officer but it had not done so."

Nana Ampofo said if the proper interpretation should be made with reference to the public officer, then it should be referred to a human being not an artificial person.

Counsel further questioned why the medical officer after examining his client could go ahead to issue a prescription form, if nothing was wrong with his client.

Referring to the evidence of the medical officer, Nana Ampofo noted that his evidence did not contain any truth and as such the Court could not convict his client on evidence based on lies.

Nana Ampofo further indicated that the Prosecution failed to show how the intent of the accused defeated the course of justice adding it was important for the Prosecution to explain the basis of his intent. Nana Ampofo, therefore, invited the Court to uphold the submission of no case against his client.

Mr Augustines Obuor, a State Attorney, argued that a submission of no case could be established when the Prosecution's case was discredited and unreliable.

He pointed that there were false statements written or verbally made.

According to the State Attorney, a false statement was made by the accused to the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Service through Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that eight unknown men had attacked him at his residence.

In addition, Mr Obuor said Mr Bruce-Quansah in his own statement to the Police admitted that he had been attacked adding that the accused also confirmed this when he was picked by the Police and Mr Ahwoi at the Tema Motorway.

According to Mr Obuor, when Mr Ahwoi testified before that Court, he was not cross-examined adding the defence counsel never challenged him.

Mr Obuor pointed out that the venue of the telephone number provided by one Christie through Mr Ahwoi and pictures of Mr Bruce-Quansah when he was allegedly assaulted all constituted false statements.

He said there were no records on Mr Bruce-Quansah when Dr Lawerence Folly, a medical officer of Saint Florence Clinic, treated him at Ashaiman.

Defining, who the public officer could be, Mr Obour mentioned the Director of CID and other Police personnel.

The case for the Prosecution was that on November 8, 2005, Bruce-Quansah alleged that eight men in mask attacked him at his Amanfrom residence, near Kasoa, who inflicted bodily injuries on him. The Prosecution stated that Bruce-Quansah told a lady he met in a taxicab to relay to Mr Ahwoi that his life was in danger.

The Prosecution said upon receiving the message, Mr Ahwoi lodged a complaint with the Police that Bruce-Quansah was missing. The Prosecution said the Police immediately started investigations into the matter, but on the second day of investigations, Bruce-Quansah suddenly appeared at the CID Headquarters.

The Prosecution said a medical report from the Police Hospital confirmed that Bruce-Quansah was not attacked as he allegedly claimed. According to the Prosecution, since Bruce-Quansah's action contravened the law, he was consequently charged with a deceit of a public officer.