Source: myjoyonline.com - A gunman believed to be mentally ill who was jailed 10 years after plotting to shoot President Mahama in church is gathering more sympathy and defense than the living President, a lawyer with the governing party, NDC, has expressed with shock.
“The narrative seems to be tilting towards the defense of the accused person….lawyers pointing out some loopholes [in the judgment] but I thought that in the same vein those people should have been showing concern for the security of the president,” Abraham Amaliba stated.
Charles Antwi last Tuesday was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after a circuit court judge Justice Obiri found him guilty of unlawful possession of firearm.
The 36-year old man had pleaded not guilty and had no legal representation during the trial. The Police prosecution had only requested that the judge provides the police some time to finish investigations.
But the accused person's fate was determined within one-hour of the trial.
The ruling appears to have shifted public opinion against the judge with many believing that the sentence was harsh and the one-hour trial, hasty.
The judge was not convinced that the gun man showed signs of being mentally unstable and sentenced him without psychiatric examination.
It has since been confirmed by Charles Antwi’s mother and brother that he had previously been treated for mental illness.
Commenting on Multi TV/Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, Saturday, Abraham Amaliba sympathized with public opinion. He had hoped that the judge would have adjourned the trial after he found that Charles Antwi had no legal representation.
“It would have been good if he had referred him to the psychiatric hospital” Amaliba said.
But the lawyer is surprised that the President’s security is not receiving the same attention in the public discourse.
“I am not sure if the convict had succeeded we would have been sitting here today. I am sure that this country would have been plunged into civil war” he said.
Drawing from history he said the tragic death of Burundi’s president plunged the country into civil war. In Rwanda, genocide was triggered following the assassination of the president, he said.
He also condemned the Ghana Bar Association for offering to assist lawyers who take up Charles Antwi’s appeal.
He said a statement issued by the Ghana Bar Association showed little concern for the president’s security.
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