The criminal case in which four people are accused of kidnapping two Canadian girls has been placed on hold.
This came when Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the presiding judge, ordered a mini trial to be held.
After attorneys for the accused objected to the prosecution’s tendering of several documents, the judge ordered the mini trial.
Detective Corporal Augustine Dery, the 11th Prosecution Witness, told the court he was presenting statements purportedly approved by the accused people as evidence.
Defendants’ lawyers, on the other hand, opposed to the request.
The accused were allegedly compelled to sign the documents as their statements, according to the attorneys.
“They were threatened, beaten and waterboarded to endorse the witness statement. They could not identify the signature and thumb prints on the statement. It is left with prosecution to prove whether the statements were taken freely and voluntarily.” Lawyer Yaw Dankwah emphasised.
He also insisted the accused were refused lawyers of their choices to advice them when their statements were allegedly being taken.
According to prosecution, “the statements were given in the presence of an independent witness, after which they thumb printed so for them to turn around and make allegations that they were tortured by way of waterboarding surprises us.”
Principal State Attorney, Winnifred Sarpong, added; “under the law, the court can conduct a mini trial in respect of the matter.”
The court in its ruling said, “the statements from the BNI allegedly made by the accused persons which the witness intended to tender have been impugned by counsel for the accused persons.
“Not only that, they have also raised issues with similar statements coming from the CID also said to have been made by the accused persons. I hereby order for a mini trial in respect of all statements allegedly made by the accused persons herein (being it from the CID or the Bni) allegedly made and put the main trial on hold. Mouth of PW11 is hereby sealed.”
On June 4, 2019, three Nigerians and one Ghanaian, allegedly kidnapped two Canadian girls who were volunteers in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
According to the facts presented to the court, they touched the girls inappropriately and smeared their bodies with blood of a fowl and forwarded pictures to their families and demanded money from their families.
The girls were later rescued by joint police and National Security team during a shootout.
The case has been adjourned to July 26 2021 for the commencement of the mini trial.