KKD granted bail on humanitarian grounds

The Accra Human Rights Fast Track High Court yesterday granted a GH¢20,000 bail with two sureties, on humanitarian grounds, to Kwasi Kyei Darkwa, (KKD), who is standing trial for raping 19-year-old Ewuraffe Orleans Thompson.

This was after counsel for KKD, Anthony Forson, had furnished the court with a medical report signed by Dr. Eugene Tettey of the Police Hospital, where he has since January 8, been receiving physiotherapy treatment for knee pains.

Mr. Forson prayed the court for the bail, to enable KKD to seek proper medical care, adding that the State was not footing the medical expenses of the accused, as required by law, leaving him with no option than to pay the cost himself.

Although the State Prosecutor, Acting Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. Cynthia Lamptey, opposed the motion, arguing that the illness did not result from the incarceration, the Presiding Judge, Justice Essel Mensah, upheld it, and granted the bail on humanitarian grounds.

In his opposition, the prosecutor cited Oko versus The Republic, page 80, 1976 Ghana Law Report, in which the court denied bail on health grounds, because the detention did not cause the ailment.

In his judgement, Justice Mensah said the court took into account opposition against bail on health grounds by the prosecutor, but indicated that the cited case happened in 1976 under the Supreme Military Council (SMC) Decree proclamation, which did not make provisions for fundamental human rights.

He stated that the 1992 Constitution, upholds fundamental human rights and must be respected.

Justice Mensah indicated that although a person convicted of crime, has some of his human rights curtailed, those rights do not include the right to life, of which health is a key component.

He said if a person was arrested and detained for a non-bailable offence, it became the responsibility of the state to ensure that his health conditions were met without any cost to the accused.

He further said that if the state reneged on its responsibility, the accused ought not to be sacrificed, but granted bail to fight his health.

Justice Mensah said it was unfair for the state to insist on non-bailable offences, but shirk its responsibility and allow those denied bail to battle with diseases in custody.

He said, the right to life is invariable and the insistence on non-billable offences must be interpreted in a manner compatible with the fundamental human rights.

He stated that the courts with the authority to ensure rights are enforced, would grant bail to KKD on humanitarian grounds.

The substantive case pending trial at the Kaneshie Magistrate Court would resume on January, 22.

The case took a dramatic twist on Tuesday when the victim wrote to inform the Police of her disinterest in the case.

Hours after new broke about that letter, KKD also issued a statement apologising to the girl for the trauma the incident had caused her, and to the public and his relatives for the disgrace his actions had brought on them.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme    

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