Six remand prisoners were freed and 24 others were granted bail when the National Remand Review Taskforce Special Court under the Justice for All Project sat for two-days at the Koforidua Central Prisons.
Six of the prisoners were convicted, the case of two, were striked off, while the application of 26 were dismissed for lack of merit.
This was disclosed at a media briefing by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, an Appeals Court Judge and Chairman of the National Remand Prisoners Review Taskforce, at the end of sittings of the Special Remand Prisoners Review Court at the Koforidua Central Prisons.
He explained that the sitting of the special court at Koforidua was the last sitting of the Court for the year and the Court would resume sitting next year.
Justice Honyenuga said the special court was able to sit in all the ten regions of the country this year and Eastern Region was the last region.
He said this year is the tenth anniversary of the ‘Justice for All’ programme and for the first time, the Court at its sitting at Koforidua tried the “Paperless Court” procedure where the prosecution, defense and the bench were reading from their lap-top computers.Justice Honyenuga said since the inception of the Justice for All programme in 2007, the special court had reviewed the cases of 3,812 remand prisoners and 752 had been discharged from the prisons.
He said 1,241 of the remand prisoners were granted bail, 149 of them were convicted and sentenced while the rest lack merit.
He used the occasion to thank the staff of the Judicial Service, Attorney General, the Police and Prison Services and the defense counsels for their contribution to make the programme successful.
Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, Chief Executive of POS Foundation, a civil society organization that focus on human rights and promoters of the Justice for All project, appealed for more resources to help improve conditions at the prisons.
He said at the inception of the Justice for All project, over 30 per cent of the total prison population in the country were remand prisoners which worsen the congestion at the prisons.
He said with the introduction of the project, currently thepopulation of remand prisoners in the prisons had reduced to about 13 per cent of the total population of prisoners in the country.
Source: GNA http://www.adomonline.com/ghana-news/six-remand-prisoners-freed-justice-project-koforidua/