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24.03.2006 Crime & Punishment

Court grants remand suspect 50-million cedi bail

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Kumasi, March 24, GNA - Kumasi circuit court on Wednesday granted Yaw Asamoah 50 million cedis bail with one surety to justify following his pleas that due to his long incarceration as a remand prisoner, his wife has divorced him. He will re-appear on April 28.

Asamoah, who is standing trial for fraud, told the court that since he was remanded in prison on April 11, 2004 when he was arrested on a bench warrant, he had been in prison custody and this has resulted in his legally married wife divorced him. He therefore, pleaded with the court to deal with him leniently by granting him bail to enable him to be with his wife.

Police Chief Inspector Mathew Asante told the court that Asamoah was arrested in September 2003 for defrauding three people of a total of 41.4 million cedis at Nkoranza in the Atwima-Nwabiagya district under the pretext of getting them plots of land. He named the people as Agyenin Boateng, Michael Sarfo and Kwame Ayensu, who were defrauded of 10 million cedis, 22.4 million cedis and nine million cedis respectively. Chief Inspector Asante said Asamoah was first put before court in February 2004 and remanded in prison custody after pleading not guilty to defrauding under false pretences. He said when the accused made his second appearance in April 2004, the court granted him 50 million cedis bail with one surety to justify.

The prosecution said, however, that after being granted bail, Asamoah went into hiding and refused to appear in court and was consequently arrested on a bench warrant. Chief Inspector Asante said since being placed in prison custody, none of his relatives or friends had approached the police for amicable settlement of the case as everybody had deserted him, thereby prolonging his stay in prison custody. The court, after listening to the plea of the accused and looking at his ill-health granted him the bail.