Human Rights Lawyer set to intervene in jailed gunman's case

Renowned Human Rights  Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has told TV3 he will file an application soon to compel the court to subject the man convicted of attempted murder, Charles Antwi, to a thorough psychological assessment.

Francis-Xavier Sosu is of the firm conviction there was a gross miscarriage of justice in the trial, and feared Ghana’s human rights record may be tainted if the judgment is not revisited.

The swift sentencing of the alleged mentally unstable Charles Antwi,  the gunman who went to President John Mahama’s church with a fully loaded gun with the intention to kill the president, has raised several controversies.

While, some believe there was nothing wrong with the circumstances surrounded his 10 year sentence which took place within forty-eight hours of his arrest, Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu believes it was a gross travesty of justice.

“There was a clear error of law on the face of the record and this error was so patent that it has led to a miscarriage of justice leading to fundamental breaches just as we all have taken oath to do justice in all situations and justice to all manner of persons, we will not misconstrue this case to be that we do not care about the security or the life of the President; for me to say that will be a complete mischief. The case is that; it’s a matter of a mistrial; the Judge acted hastily and committed several errors of law and this is what we seek to challenge. It has nothing to do with the presidency; let us enforce the law to the latter”.

Charles’ relatives have all confirmed he has had mental issues which once led to him being deported from Italy to Ghana.  Human Rights activists have since questioned the correctness of the incarceration particularly when he was even not represented by any counsel and had pleaded not guilty.

But the Judge in his ruling said Charles clearly exhibited through his own confession, that he was sane and that his action was premeditated.  There has since been a back and forth about whether or not the judge erred in jailing a mentally derailed person who clearly needed help.

Many have questioned why the prosecution failed to carry out a thorough check of his mental condition since his utterances gave clues that he may be unstable mentally.

Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu promised to file an application to force the court to produce the accused for medical examination to ascertain his health status.

“What we want to do is to proceed under article 33 of the 1992 constitution and bring an application for certiorari to quash the decision of the judge. Certiorari applications are  sustainable on two grounds; there must be either jurisdictional error or there must be error of law on the face of the record; and that error must be so patent that it has led to a miscarriage of justice. Now, the court had jurisdiction so that first part is inapplicable; but it is our case that the court actually made an error of law which was so patent on the face of the record and that when this comes before a high court or human rights court, there will be no doubt that this whole trial would be quashed” he stated.

AG seeks to set aside verdict on Mahama's gunman


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