The Abeka District Court in Accra yesterday ordered the state to furnish the defence with documents it would rely on to prosecute the accused person, Jihad Chaaban, the Abelemkpe Branch Manager of Marwako.
The court, presided over by Ms. Victoria Ghansah, held that the prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Armah Hanson, must provide the charge sheet of the accused, the investigation caution statement and the statement of Evelyn Boakye, the complainant, to the defence team.
This, she said, would enable the accused person to have fair hearing, adding that the order was not as of right but because of the inventions in the judicial provisions.
The ruling follows an application for disclosure filed by Augustine Asafo Adjei, lawyer for Jihad.
According to him, the request, if granted, would assist him to put up a more informed defence of their client.
Quoting Article 19 (2) (e) and (g) of the 1992 constitution, the lawyer argued that if the notion was not granted, it would amount to ambush trial.
Augustine stated that for the trial to be fair, the accused person has to be given all that he requires to defend his case as enshrined in the constitution.
The prosecution, however, did not file any motion in opposition to the motion, arguing that it would rely on the decision of the court.
Earlier, the prosecutor told the court that he intended to file but was unable to do so because of ‘dumsor.’
He said he was minded to make an oral application if the court would oblige him.
But Augustine disagreed, insisting that it was appropriate for the prosecutor to put his opposition in writing.
This compelled the court to suspend proceedings for 30 minutes.
Sitting continues on March 30.
Jihad, 26, is reported to have dipped the head of Evelyn into blended pepper on February 26, 2017.
According to the prosecution, the accused offensively conducted himself when he angrily called the complainant a “prostitute.”
Jihad is facing an additional charge of intentionally and unlawfully causing harm to Evelyn.
Meanwhile, the anticipated cross-examination of Evelyn Boakye, the employee of the facility, was however shelved.
At the last court date, the defence lawyers had expressed doubt over the actual substance.
In the view of Augustine, the substance for which the accused had been dragged before court is a “sauce” and not raw pepper.
He said a mixture of garlic, pepper, onions, ginger and tomatoes cannot be described as pepper.
Jihad, a Lebanese supervisor at Marwako Restaurant, was put before the court for allegedly manhandling a female waitress of the restaurant.
The accused, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is a brother–in-law of the owner of Marwako Restaurant at Abelemkpe Branch.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson