The 13 members of the pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force, who assaulted a public officer in Kumasi, have been handed a fine to the tune of GHC23,400.
Each of the them is to pay GHC1,800 and sign a bond to be of good behaviour for a 12-month period or in default serve 12 months in prison, the Kumasi Ciricut Court ruled Thursday.
The 13 were convicted and sentenced after they pleaded guilty to the new charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit rioting leveled against them last week by police prosecutors.
Charges of assaulting a public officer, conspiracy to assault and causing unlawful damage, which the 13 convicts were facing, were dropped by prosecutors on October 10 on the advice of the Attorney General’s Department.
Fresh charges of conspiracy to commit crime and rioting were subsequently leveled against them and the case adjourned Thursday, October 19 for continuation.
When the case resumed Thursday, the convicts pleaded guilty to the charge in the Circuit Court presided over by JMs. Mary Senkyire to convict them accordingly.
Members of the Delta Force in March this year ssaulted President Akufo-Addo’s newly-appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei who they said did not contribute to the victory of the party, hence cannot work with him.
Police later arrested 13 of them and on April 6, 2017, and were put before court.
Some other members of the group numbering eight stormed the KMA Circuit Court on Thursday, April 6 and freed the 13 members who were standing trial for assaulting the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei.
The eight accused defied an order by the judge, Mary Senkyere, in open court after she had remanded the 13 in prison custody.
They verbally abused her and vandalized court property, exiting through a restricted area meant only for judges.
The eight were immediately arrested while a bench warrant issued by the Ashanti Regional Police Command resulted in the escapees turning themselves in for the trial to continue in their case.
They were put before court for escaping from lawful custody but were pardoned by the Circuit court presided over by John Ekow Mensah but were fined 2,400 each and made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour within six months. Failure to do so will lead them serving a jail term of three years.
The other eight who broke them out were charged with disturbances of court as captured in Section 233 of the Criminal Code and resisting arrest and rescue as captured in Section 226(1b) of same.
Discharged for lack of evidence
But they discharged by the Kumasi Circuit Court Two due to lack of evidence.
Judge Patricia Amponsah freed the accused persons, following the Attorney General’s claim that it has no evidence to prosecute.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana