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Bantama gang rape suspects back to juvenile cells

The three were a part of a gang that allegedly raped a teenage girl in Kumasi

The five suspects arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape at Bantama in the Ashanti Region last year have been sent back to juvenile cells, pending investigations.

On January 17, 2018, the Asokwa Juvenile Court struck out the case involving the five suspects based on information made available by the state attorney.

The state attorney in charge of the case had claimed that one of the suspects was not a minor as purported earlier.

Presiding judge at the time, His Worship Peter Oppong Boahen, as a result, discharged the suspects, redirecting them to be tried in a Circuit Court since the matter was beyond the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.

But appearing in Court on Wednesday, the presiding judge at the Kumasi Gender Court, Her Worship Comfort K. Tasiame, ordered the suspects to be taken back into juvenile cells to enable them ascertain the real ages of the suspects.

Even though investigations have revealed the age of one of the suspects to be 20 years, lawyers of the suspects insist all their clients are minors.

According to the lawyers, the state attorney is yet to furnish them with any documented evidence to contradict the earlier ages of their clients.

One of the lawyers of the suspects, John Boamah, said the suspects will remain in the juvenile cells in order to keep them under careful watch.

“It is a bailable offence, but in order for them not to interfere with ongoing investigations, we prefer they be at the juvenile cells where their families can still have access to them,” he said.

The case has, however, been adjourned to Wednesday, February 7.

In December 2017, the suspects were picked up for the seven-member gang-raping of a teenager in Bantama.

The bout was captured in a video that went viral on social media.

The five suspects are said to be among the boys seen in the video.

By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana

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