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23.03.2006 Crime & Punishment

Tribunal rules on review application on narcotic case on April 10

By GNA

Accra, March 23, GNA - A Greater Accra Regional Tribunal would on April 10 give its ruling on a review application filed on behalf of a businessman and a forwarding agent, who are standing trial for narcotic offences. Mr Justice Frank Manu, Chairman of the three-member tribunal, fixed the date after listening to submissions from defence counsel and the prosecution at its sitting on Thursday.

On August 9 2005, Henry Owusu, the businessman and Emmanuel Adzavor, the forwarding agent, were put before the tribunal on charges of conspiracy and exportation of narcotic drugs without lawful authority, contrary to the Narcotic Drug Law. A month later, the tribunal granted them bail in the sum of 1.8 billion cedis with three sureties each after they had pleaded not guilty to the charges. In his submissions, Mr Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the accused persons, described the bail conditions as excessive, saying that was why they had not been able to execute the bail bond for about six months now.

Counsel, therefore, prayed the tribunal to reduce the bail bonds to ensure that the liberties of his clients were not unduly curtailed. Mr Sory said when this was done, the accused persons would be able to execute the bail bond and come out of custody. Replying, the Prosecution said it was opposed to the review application, because the tribunal had respected the fundamental human rights of the accused persons by granting them bail.

According to the Prosecution, the only time when the tribunal could be called upon to review its own decision in a matter such as this was when new developments or matters arose. The Prosecution urged defence counsel to ensure that his clients met the bail conditions and, therefore, prayed the tribunal to dismiss the review application.

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