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It is wrong to show faces of suspect teen killers – Lawyer Martin Kpebu

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The Ghanaian media erred in revealing the identity of the two teenagers suspected to have killed 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah for money rituals at Kasoa, private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has said.

According to him, the dilettante level the media has been entangled in is by broadcasting the identities of the suspects given the reason that, they are young teenagers.

Speaking on Citi TV/FM’s The Big Issue, Martin Kpebu said protecting the two from public ridicule due to their young age should have been the approach in reporting the case to the public.

“Starting from the beginning, I should say that so far, as a country we have not handled this matter well especially in the media space. There is clear evidence that one of them is 16 years old. In actual fact even when it started, the evidence was that they both were under 18 and yet the media went down showing their credentials. That is wrong. It is a crime under the juvenile justice act. Journalists could go to jail and there are fines so let us do well to hide the identities of the juveniles.

“Teenagers are still developing, their brains are still developing so when it comes to discretion, they are juveniles. They are more prone to make mistakes and commit crimes. We, therefore, need to give them a second chance. I have heard so many people mounting the high horse and crucifying these juveniles. That is something we should reject unreservedly” he said.

Background

The two teenagers are reported to have allegedly lured the deceased into an uncompleted building and smashed his head with a club and cement blocks killing him instantly.

They subsequently buried him in the building.

Police say the suspects planned to recover the body at midnight for the supposed rituals.

Apart from the two teenagers, a fetish priestess, and her worker have also been arrested in connection with the crime.

They were arrested at Amanase, near Suhum in the Eastern Region, by a team of policemen to assist with investigations into the ritual murder.

The Central Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ms Irene Oppong, has indicated that the case docket has been handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service.

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