A legal practitioner, David Annan says it is not advisable for the family or lawyers of the man who confessed to wanting to kill President Mahama to appeal the 10-year-year sentence handed him by the court.
He said the suspect was lucky to get a 10-year sentence after admitting that he was in possession of a fire arm without lawful permission because if he was charged for attempted murder, he would have gotten a life sentence.
“Where he was charged under the arms and ammunition act which allows for a second degree felony which is 10 -25 years, he is very very lucky. And I don’t think as a lawyer I’ll advise anyone to go on an appeal.”
An Accra Circuit Tuesday found the 36-year-old man guilty of second degree felonyand sentenced him to ten years imprisonment after he confessed he wanted to kill the president and install himself a president.
Charles Antwi carried a locally manufactured gun to the Ringway Assemblies of God church where President Mahama and his family fellowship.
He said he has the desire of becoming Ghana’s president and hatched the plan to topple the president even while the late Prof. Atta Mills was president.
He also said he wanted to kill the president because of the current economic hardship Ghanaians are facing.
He was charged with possession of firearms without lawful excuse but pleaded not guilty after he ironically confessed to the court that he indeed wanted to kill the president.
Although he had no legal representation, a plea by a lawyer who happened to be in court whlist the case was being heard to have the suspect examined by a psychiatrist was not taken.
Following his incarceration, Charles’ mother kicked against the sentence saying that her son is mentally unstable.
She said the family has been battling with her son’s condition for the past two years.
The ruling has triggered criticism from lawyers who say the Circuit Court judge, Justice Francis Obiri rushed in sentencing the convict.
Constitutional expert, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare has described the ruling as “despicable” and “unheard of.”
But Mr Annan says the suspect’s level of confidence and demeanor showed he was sane and this counters any claim that he was mentally unstable at the time he attempted to perpetrate the crime.
“Due to the kind of things the suspect said and the manner in which he said them, in my opinion makes it difficult for anyone to believe that he was insane”, he said on Adom FM’s morning show ‘Dwaso Nsem’.
He added that “the law looks at lucid moments and moments when you were unsound” and because he was able to answer questions posed to him and did so stating specifically his motives for wanting to carry out the crime, “what else do you want the judge to do”?
This according to him is described in law as ‘compus mentis’– a term used to describe someone who is sane in law.
Although Mr Annan agrees that the sentence was rushed, he said “the essence of a summary trial is speed. Under a summary trial the case can be disposed off very quickly within a day even within 24 hours”.
He, however, noted that in case Charles Antwi is examined later and it is found out that he is mentally unstable, the only alternative is for him to be incarcerated at a psychiatric hospital.
However, that “does not mean freedom. It is not an avenue for liberty and that is similar to a prison only that it is a medical facility. So it is practically the same thing”.
He advised that the suspect and his lawyers “abandon any hopes of appeal because the sentence can only be increased”.
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