THE TRIAL of 42-year old Chen Shicai, a Chinese national, who allegedly went on car snatching spree at knife point around the Ashaiman area and later identified as the alleged killer of another Chinese national at Hotel Koreana at Tema Community 12, was put before a Tema Circuit court yesterday.
The case was, however, adjourned to May 9, 2013 by the Circuit Court ‘B’ because it did not immediately have a Chinese interpreter to assist the suspect, who had indicated that he could not speak English.
The plea of Chen Shicai, who is believed to have been charged with car jacking, was not taken and was, therefore, remanded in police custody to re-appear on May 9, 2013.
The suspect, who arrived in the country on April 16, 2013, was arrested by a police night patrol team around 3am at the Ashaiman traffic light, when he tried to snatch a second taxi from its owner after he had earlier been involved in an accident with the first taxi he snatched from its owner.
Chief Inspector Matilda Tetteh, the prosecutor, prayed the court, presided over by Bart Plange-Brew, to remand the suspect on provisional charges and should not take his plea so as to allow enough time for an interpreter to be arranged for his trial.
Later in an interview with this paper, Chief Inspector Matilda Tetteh noted that the trial was compelled to be adjourned because the there was no Chinese interpreter available to assist the suspect. She further said that the court had taken notice of that and plans had already started to get one from the Chinese Embassy in Ghana or through the School of Languages.
According to her, as soon as one is made available to the court, the suspect’s trial will begin.
The suspect’s allege involvement in the death of his friend at Hotel Koreana was made known to the police at Community 11, Tema, after a story on how he tried snatching two taxis from their owners was published in the DAILY GUIDE.
The police at Community 11 reportedly contacted the driver of the deceased, who was mentioned as Rihui Wang. The deceased, according to this paper’s source, was based at Dunkwa and engaged in small scale mining. He was reported to have travelled from his base to Accra together with his driver and was said to have picked the suspect from the Kotoka Airport in Accra from where they later settled at the hotel in Tema.
Fears of the deceased’s driver was heightened when he failed to reach his master on his mobile phone. The situation was said to have compelled the driver to plead with a receptionist at the hotel to access the deceased’s hotel room with a spare key, because he had not been seen, a day after he checked into the hotel.
He was later found in a pool of blood, when the room was finally opened.
Chen Shicai, who was identified as the man who shared room with the deceased before his death, failed to deny killing his friend when he was taken to the crime scene.
He was alleged to have told the police that he punched his friend in the head, which resulted in his death. He reportedly mentioned that they fought over a blanket in the room.