Admission of Gabass tape, major victory for prosecution- Lardy Anyenini

Counsel for Joy FM’s investigative journalist Manasseh Azure-Awuni has described as a “major victory for the prosecution”, the decision by the judge hearing the controversial sodomy case to admit in evidence a tape recording in which the suspect, Dr Sulley Ali-Gabass was heard confessing to the crime of sodomy.

Samson Lardy Anyenini told JoyNews the court in its ruling will take into consideration the suspect’s audible confession to the crime but was quick to add the defence is sure to put up a robust attempt to discredit the content of the interview.

Knowing how potentially injurious the recording may be to their case, the defence was reported to have fought tooth and nail to have the judge throw out the tape recording when the prosecution attempted to introduce it as part of evidence.

The defence argued the recording was acquired secretly and without the express permission of the suspect and should therefore not to be tendered.

However the prosecutor is said to have cited numerous laws including the Electronics Act, the Constitution and the Evidence Act; all of which stated in part, that while evidence should not be acquired illegally, there can be exceptions- one can use every illegal means to gather evidence when that evidence is in the public interest.

The judge agreed with the prosecution and allowed the recording to be tendered into evidence.

Samson Lardy Anyenini said the no-nonsense lawyer for the defence subjected his client Manasseh Azure-Awuni to a robust cross examination in an attempt to discredit his testimony.

Dr Ali Gabass is facing two charges of defiling a child under 16 years and unnatural carnal knowledge, charges he has denied despite his earlier confession to the crime in the interview with Manasseh.

He was said to have had sex with the minor on five occasions, three of which happened in his car and two in his residence at Alajo in Accra. The encounter affected the anal region of the minor and it took surgery to correct the ailment.

The minor has however tested positive for HIV and is accusing Dr Gabass of infecting him with the deadly virus, an accusation the senior medical officer at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi, has vehemently denied.

Dr Gabass said he is HIV negative and could not have possibly infected the minor with HIV.

Having finished with the cross-examination, the defence will now be free to present their witnesses before the court.

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