Judge cautions Gabass’ lawyers

Dr. GabassThe Presiding Judge of an Accra Circuit Court, Mrs Rita Agyemang-Budu, yesterday told lawyers for Dr. Ali Sulley Gabass, a medical practitioner at the Effia- Nkwanta Government Hospital, alleged to have sodomised a 16-year-old boy, that she would not tolerate any lackadaisical attitude which would drag proceedings.

This follows the inability of the counsel to open their defence as ordered by the court, after the prosecution in the matter had closed their case.

Counsel for the accused, Phixon Owoo, told the court that they had filed a notice of appeal on May 12, to be moved on Monday and, therefore, impressed on the court to stay proceedings until the motion was moved.

However, the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police Annor, opposed the submission, saying the motion was served on him instead of the Attorney-General, arguing that serving a motion did not form the basis for a stay of proceedings.

The judge wondered why defence counsel failed to file their application earlier, after her ruling on May 7, but rather filed the notice of appeal on May 12, prior to yesterday’s sitting.

She consequently adjourned proceedings to May 18, when the motion would be moved.

The court on May 7, dismissed an application of ‘no case’ filed before it by the counsel for Ali Gabass, and ordered them to open their defence yesterday, which they failed to do.

Five witnesses, including the victim and Manasseh Awuni Azure , the journalist who first published the story which led to the arrest of the accused and his subsequent prosecution, testified as first and second prosecution witnesses respectively.

The other witnesses were the investigator, Dr. Nii Aryee, a surgeon at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital who diagnosed the victim after an anal fistula and anal rectal abscess surgical operation, and the victim’s father.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Idan Derry, prosecuting earlier, told the court that the accused between October 2013 and April 2014, sodomised the teenager five times at Kasoa in the Central Region, and Alajo in Accra.

He said the victim was a student at Kasoa, while Dr. Gabass was a medical practitioner at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Takoradi.

Dr. Gabass is said to have encountered the victim on Facebook in September 2013, and they became friends and later established contacts on phone and online.

He told the court that in October 2013, Dr. Gabass arranged and met the victim at Kasoa New Market area and had anal sex with him in his car in front of a bank.

On December 28, 2013, at about 7 p.m., he met the victim again at Kasoa and had sex with him, after which he gave him a Samsung Galaxy phone and GH¢20 which he initially turned down, but was coerced to accept later.

The victim later fell ill and informed Dr. Gabass who prescribed paracetamol for him.

Dr. Gabass is still in prison custody.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme   

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