Crime & Law

Kasoa ritual murder: Court orders 18-year-old accused to be remanded into prison over alleged misconduct

The High Court in Accra has issued a trial warrant for an 18-year-old young offender involved in the ongoing Kasoa ritual murder case. This order mandates that the accused be kept in Nsawam prison’s custody instead of a police cell due to allegations of misconduct at the police cells.

The 18-year-old, the second accused, is standing trial alongside a 15-year-old juvenile (the first accused) for the murder of 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdella in Kasoa.

The order by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo means that the young offender, who has been in police custody since his arrest in April 2021, will now be under the care of the prison authority.

In court on Monday, June 24, 2024, Nana Adoma Osei, a senior state attorney, informed the court that officers at the Osu Police Station requested that the second accused should not be returned to their custody after the court session that day.

While the prosecution did not immediately specify the issues caused by the second accused in police cells, they requested that he be remanded in prison custody based on the information received.

“The Osu Police Station made a request that he should not be brought back from the court today,” the state attorney informed the court. She added, “Our prayer this morning is that he should be remanded into prison custody, and a trial warrant issued so that the prison officers would be responsible for bringing him to court as needed,” the Prosecution narrated.

Lawrence Boampong Wireko, counsel for the second accused, stated that he was not aware of such information and requested that the second accused remain in police cells since the trial is nearly concluded, with only the summing up and the jury’s verdict pending. He also asked the court to caution the second accused and offered to speak to him about his conduct.

The investigator who accompanied the accused to the court stated that the 18-year-old has been rotated among various police stations, including Ministry, Nima, Cantonment, and currently Osu Police Station. The officer noted that the second accused has been involved in fights with inmates at both Osu and Cantonment stations.

However, the second accused denied these allegations when addressing the court.

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, after considering the submissions from the counsel for the republic, the counsel for the accused, and the accused himself, issued a trial warrant for the second accused.

“In view of the intimation from counsel for the republic, an order is hereby made for a trial warrant to be issued against the second accused person to be kept at the Nsawam Prison and brought to court as needed,” the court directed.

Meanwhile, the court expressed concern over the absence of jurors despite the court’s summing up being ready. EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reported that the court was expected to sum up the trial and for the jury to return their verdict on Monday, June 24. However, the absence of the jurors, who serve as the judges of facts in the case, resulted in another adjournment.

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo has adjourned the case to July 8, 2024, hoping the jurors will report for duty. This is the second time the judgment has been deferred, following previous adjournments on May 7 and June 24, 2024.

Background

On Wednesday, February 14, the second accused young offender concluded his defense. His lawyers chose not to call any witnesses after the state prosecutors, led by Nana Adoma Osei, a senior state attorney, finished their cross-examination.

EIB Network Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reported that the prosecution called seven witnesses, including the father, mother, and sister of the 15-year-old juvenile.

The two teenagers have been charged with conspiracy and murder of the 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdella before the High Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo. While the 15-year-old juvenile has admitted to the offense and stated that they “committed the crime together,” the second accused has denied the charges.

Source: Starr FM

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