Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deeba challenges extradition order

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ghanaian fugitive and hip life musician, Deeba Acheampong, has filed a formal appeal at the Accra Fast Track High Court challenging the order for his extradiction to the United Kingdom where he is wanted for prosecution.

The appeal which was filed on July 15, by his counsel, Augustine Obour, is expected to be heard on July 22 by the court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante.

His lawyers had earlier filed a habeas corpus application which they argued constituted an appeal in extradition proceedings, but the court disagreed with them, describing that argument as unfounded in law.

Consequently, it gave the musician up to yesterday to file a proper appeal, setting out the grounds, and serve it on the Attorney General’s Department.

At the court’s sitting yesterday, it emerged that the appeal had not been placed on the court records but further checks revealed it had been filed. The court, thus, adjourned the case to Monday.

Deeba who is alleged to have raped his eight-year old step daughter in the United Kingdom, was on June 7, 2013 ordered by the a District Magistrate in Accra to be extradited to the UK for prosecution on charges of rape, after it found as a fact that a prima facie case has been made against him.

At the court’s last sitting on July 11, Mr. Obour prayed the court to order the Registrar of the District Magistrate Court to forward the entire record of proceedings in Deeba’s extradition trial to the High Court for it to determine the basis of the committal of  the fugitive.

He told the court that they were challenging the order of the District Magistrate, saying “we believe the District Court erred, and that it is not as if the order of the lower court is final in the case.”

“We hold that there is no treaty between Ghana and UK,” he said adding “it is fair that the record is transferred so that we argue again as to whether the order was right or not”.

Responding, Senior State Attorney, Comfort Tasiame, said “all that is required of them under Section 2(b) of Act 244 is to submit a report to the court which they have done,” adding “nowhere is it indicated that habeas corpus is an appeal”.

The State Attorney “said they have complied with the law, especially when they have filed the certificate of committal, arrest warrant from the UK, the warrant issued by the Interior Minister and the charge sheet.”

She stated that “the argument by counsel that the record of proceedings from the lower court be transferred to the High Court in this instance is not in the country’s laws,” adding  that “habeas corpus in extradition case is not an appeal.”

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