AG Wants Bantama Sexual Assault Suspects Tried as Adults
The case involving five suspects arrested in connection with the alleged sexual assault at Bantama has been struck out from the juvenile Court.
This is because the age of one of the suspects has been challenged by the Attorney General’s department.
The AG’s Department contends that one of the suspects is aged over 18 years, and is now pushing for the case to be tried in a regular court.
Thus the suspects were released as initial charges of conspiracy to rape and defilement were dropped, but they were rearrested by police immediately after the in-camera hearing at the Asokwa District Court.
The case has now been referred to an open court to continue with proceedings.
But one of the lawyers for the suspects, E. O. Opoku, insisted to Citi News that his clients were juveniles since their ages had not yet been proven.
The lawyer said he had submitted birth certificates “of some of them” which proved they are juveniles.
“The AG is making a case that one of them is not a juvenile and is therefore praying the court to send the case to a court of summary jurisdiction… We are saying that the court cannot make the referral to the Court of Summary jurisdiction on the basis that no determination has been made as to the age of the children. To us, they are all juveniles and must be tried by the juvenile court.”
In December 2017, three suspects were initially arrested after a video, which allegedly showed them and four others, sexually assaulting a girl, went viral, and was met with widespread criticism from the Ghanaian public.
Two more persons have since been arrested for their alleged involvement in the sexual assault since the beginning of 2018.