Attorney General Godfred Dame says he disagrees with the opinions that the human rights of murder accused Gregory Afoko will be infringed upon if the Adam Maahama murder case is retried.
Speaking on Upfront, on JoyNews, on Thursday, he said that the laws of Ghana are clear that when there is a mistrial, after a jury fails to make a unanimous decision, a retrial ought to be done to ensure justice is served.
“It’s not only Ghana that has such a law, in other counties like the UK and US there are various instances of jury trial recommence because there has been a declaration of a mistrial. Sometimes the jury is composed about three to five times and the trial goes on…I am not saying that this is going to be an endless trial, but on the clear details of our laws of Ghana, we are supposed to conduct a retrial. It will be a failure of justice if a retrial is not conducted in the matter,” he told the host, Kojo Yankson.
“This is a case where the evidence we had at the trial shows that the person was killed through acid poured on him and all and the acid was found on Gregory Afoko and all that. Of course, it is up to a jury to come to whatever conclusion it considers right but a jury trial itself inherently has a lot of laws, and that is why the law recognises and says that if there is a lack of unanimity in the verdict there ought to be a retrial.”
Gregory Afoko who is the brother of former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman Paul Afoko, has for the past eight years been standing trial over the murder of Adams Mahama, former NPP Upper East regional chairman.
On April 27, state prosecutors are left with no other choice but to consider starting a fresh trial for Mr Afoko after a 7-member jury on that Thursday afternoon could not reach a 7-0 unanimous verdict for the charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The jury however found his co-accused Asabke Alangdi guilty of the offence of conspiracy to commit murder. He has been sentenced to death but his lawyers are already questioning the verdict. On the charge of murder, the jury returned a 4-3 verdict of not guilty. This has left his legal team quite disturbed.
For Gregory Afoko, for Capital Offences including murder, the Jury must return a unanimous verdict to sustain a conclusion of guilty of the charge.
Reacting to the verdict family of former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama called it disappointing.
“We are of the view that compelling evidence was led by the prosecution and so we are not happy about the outcome. But whatever it is, it wasn’t also a very bad case because we have a mistrial 4-3 and having one person convicted and sentenced to death, I think that is fine,” he told JoyNews.
Mr Namoo added that his side will wait and see the next route that the court takes.
Meanwhile, Mr Dame believes that there are fundamental flaws in the verdict especially since the second accused who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder alongside Gregory Afoko was found guilty but not the latter.
“The charge sheet shows that we alleged that he (the second accused) conspired with the first accused (Mr Afoko), so how can the jury find the second accused guilty of conspiracy by himself, and exclude the first accused? If you find one person guilty and the charge sheet shows he conspired with the other, the n you must find the other one guilty, the reverse is also the same.”
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