General News of Tuesday, 6 January 2015
A lawyer and a former senior Crown Prosecutor in the United Kingdom (UK), Godwin Adjei-Gyamfi has disclosed that Nayale Ametefe, the woman busted at Heathrow airport with cocaine, will today appear in court with a new counsel.
He indicated that Ms Ametefe’s previous counsel has been relieved of her duties for unknown reasons.
“In this case, tomorrow, we will see a different lawyer for the accused simply because, the previous lawyer for reasons beyond reasoning has been relieved of her duty and so hence, we will see a different Counsel,” he said.
Explaining the possible reasoning for change of accused counsels, Mr. Adjei-Gyamfi said most often than not, accused persons change their lawyers when they wish to change their plea.
“From my experience in the court room, normally, when the accused wishes to vacate her plea, it’s good to sacrifice your previous defense lawyer and put the blame on him or her. It helps… If there is a change in the plea, we will find blame being shifted onto the previous counsel,” he said.
But he was quick to add that his explanation in no way suggests that Nayale Ametefe changed lawyers due to her intention to change her guilty plea.
Nayale Ametefe was in November 2014 arrested at the Heathrow airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the UK.
On her first appearance in court on November 27 last year, she pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against her.
The case was adjourned to give the court more time to study the forensic analysis of the cocaine to determine exactly how much she smuggled into the UK and the street value before she is sentenced.
She was scheduled to reappear before the Isleworth Crown Court on Monday January 5, 2015 but the case was adjourned to Tuesday January 6.
In an interview on Eyewitness News on Monday, Adjei-Gyamfi disclosed that Tuesday’s hearing will be “quite dicey” because “a phone call was made to the general office of the court on the 2nd January.”
“The caller indicated to the court staff that the lady [Nayele Ametefe] in question wishes to vacate her plea that is to actually change her plea but that information has not yet been formally put into writing to the Crown Prosecution Service because the caller is not sure of the authenticity of that call.”
He continued saying, “it was a hint and so they have left everything for tomorrow,” adding that “when you want to vacate, you put it into writing to the court and also to the other side if time permits just like in this situation; otherwise, the prosecutor in court will be taken by surprise.”
According to Adjei-Gyamfi, if Ms Ametefe maintains her guilty plea she will be sentenced to about 10 years but if she changes her plea and the matter goes to trial and she is found guilty, she could be looking at 13 years in jail.