Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, has filed a notice of appeal at the Appeals Court in Accra against last Tuesday’s High Court ruling on the Ya-Na murder case.
What this means is that the government has started taking the steps it promised aggrieved Andanis it would, to try and get the verdict which freed 15 people tried in connection with the killing of the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II on 27 March 2002, overturned.
After a total of 12 witnesses had testified in the case, which began in July 2010, the prosecution closed its submission, but the lawyers for the defendants filed a submission of no case, which was upheld by the trial judge, Justice E.K. Ayebi.
According to Justice Ayebi, the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against all the accused persons on the grounds that evidence led by the 12 prosecution witnesses had been inconsistent, fabricated stories against the accused persons and were subsequently discredited on cross-examination.
He said: “It was not sufficient for the prosecution to say that the Ya Na was dead and leave it at that. Even the investigation was not conclusive of the identity of the charred body nor was a DNA examination conducted to prove that the body was that of the Ya Na.”
The trial judge also held that: “In law, the death of the Ya Na must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, especially in the absence of a death certificate. If the prosecution failed to prove that the charred remains were the body of the Ya Na. then the accused persons could not be held liable for the death of the Ya Na,”.
According to the court, the prosecution witnesses who testified against the 15 were the same persons who testified against Yidana Sugri and Iddrisu Jahinfo in 2002 for the murder of the Ya Na. The two were acquitted and discharged.
Meanwhile, President John Evans Atta Mills said he was determined to find those who committed the crime.
Source: Joy News with additional file from Daily Graphic