The 50-year-old Pastor of the 12 Apostles Church, accused of defiling a four-year-old girl at Asuokaw in the Eastern Region, which later led to her death, was intoxicated at the time of the incident, his lawyer has said.
The lawyer has therefore argued that he should be charged with manslaughter and not murder.
The pastor, Isaac Bowe Gyasi, allegedly lured the girl to his bathroom before allegedly defiling the deceased.
He has been charged with murder and has been remanded into custody by an Accra High Court.
According to state prosecutors, the incident led to the untimely death of the girl.
His lawyer, David Owusu Tachie, put up a defence in his application for bail via a Justice For All Virtual Court session on Friday (July 22, 2022).
The lawyer argued that his client, who had been behind bars since 2018, was intoxicated at the time of the incident and the charge of murder could be reduced to manslaughter.
Counsel, therefore, prayed the court, and presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Justice of Supreme Court sitting as an additional High Court judge, to grant the accused bail.
The state, led by an Assistant State Attorney, Yvonne Dacosta, opposed the application on grounds that the pastor bolted after committing the alleged crime and if granted bail, Gyasi may not avail himself for trial.
The application for bail was subsequently refused by the court based on the circumstances that led to the untimely death of the four-year-old victim.
The court ordered the prosecution to expedite the processes needed for the trial to commence within one month.
Justice for All
Gyasi’s case was one of 60 cases to be heard virtually through the Justice For All Programme (JFAP), an initiative meant to decongest Ghana’s prisons.
The JFAP is organised by the Judicial Service and facilitated by the POS Foundation, a civil society organisation.
All the 60 cases brought under the consideration of Justice Honyenuga and Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah, a court of appeal judge, were from the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, where majority of accused persons are based.
Out of 60 cases heard during the one-day virtual sitting, three of the accused persons were discharged unconditionally after they had spent over three years behind bars without trail.
27 of the accused persons were granted bail while the two courts dismissed a total of 23 cases.
Six of the applications for bail were struck out while one suspect was referred to a Mental hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
At the end of the virtual session, the Chairman of JFAP National Steering Committee, Justice Clemence J. Honyenuga, said the programme will turn its attention to the Ho Central prison for the virtual court session.