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16.06.2004 General News

High Court Judge lauds amendment of Criminal code

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Ho, June 16, GNA - Mr Justice Paul Gyaesayor, Supervising High Court Judge of the Volta Region on Wednesday lauded the amendment to Act 29 of the Criminal Code of 1960 paving the way for summary trial of robbery cases.

He observed that unlike trials by indictment, summary trials would facilitate timely and expeditious trial of robbery cases, boost public confidence in the judiciary and eliminate the inclination of the public to resort to instant justice out of frustration.

Mr Justice Gyaesayor made the observations when he passed sentence on Kofi Ayivi Yesu, 43, in his first summary trial of a robbery, since the amendment on July 3, 2003, which gave discretionary powers to the Attorney-General to determine whether the offence of robbery shall be tried summarily or on indictment.

According to the amendment the use of offensive weapons during robbery attracts not less than 15 years on conviction and not less than 10 years when the robbery is without the use of offensive weapons. Ayivi, a porter who will serve 20 years in prison for robbing Mr Raphael Akpora, a farmer of Klenoadi in the Ketu District pleaded not guilty to robbery but the court entered a plea of guilty for him. Prosecuting, Miss Patience Klinogo, Principal State Attorney said Ayivi and a group of about 14 armed men attacked Mr Akpora and his household at about 0130 hours on May 9, 2001, beat them amidst gunshots, ransacked the house and took away a total of 40 million cedis. She said before other residents of the village could come to Mr Akpora's rescue the group of robbers had escaped.

Miss Klinogo said the inhabitants however, reported the incident to a police patrol team on Accra-Aflao road, which combed the area and arrested one Prince Emena and during a search on him, an amount of 2,299,000 cedis was found but other members of his group escaped. According to the prosecution, Enema confessed that the money was his share of the booty from Mr Akpora's household, saying nine of them undertook the robbery expedition.

Miss Klinogo said another group of the police patrol team came across a shotgun belonging to Mr Akpora.

The prosecution said on May 26, 2001 the police patrol team arrested Ayivi who was identified by Enema during an identification parade. Miss Klinogo said Mr Akpora and four other people also identified Ayivi during another identification parade on June 4, 2001. Enema however, died in prison custody. 16 June 04