Cape Coast Circuit Court Clears Hon Atta Mensah and Hon Kwesi Dawood of Defilement, Incest, Assault, and Abortion Charges

In a significant legal development on January 22, 2024, Hon Atta Mensah and Hon Kwesi Dawood were acquitted and discharged by H/H Dorinda Smith Arthur of the Cape Coast Circuit Court 1 after nearly three years of a high-stakes criminal trial. The charges included defilement, incest, assault, and abortion & abetment of abortion.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defense successfully argued a submission of no case per section 173 of Act 30/60, leading to the acquittal. Crucially, the court upheld the submission, stating, “at the close of prosecution, learned counsels for the accused persons raised submission of no case per section 173 of Act 30/60. They filed their submissions and after considering them with the evidence so far led, the submission of no case is upheld. Consequently, they are acquitted and discharged.”

One of the pivotal moments in the trial was the revelation during cross-examination that the complainant, Mavis Abena Agyeiwaa Ayittey Arhin, had never been in a relationship with Hon Kwesi Dawood. Instead, it was disclosed that she had been in a four-year relationship with Hon Atta Mensah.

The charge of incest faced a turn of events when Hon Kwesi Dawood, in pursuit of truth, applied for a paternity test. The results from The Trust Hospital’s DNA Clinic in Accra conclusively excluded him as the biological father of the alleged survivor, Rita Akos Ayittey Arhin. The court accepted the DNA test as prima facie evidence, reinforcing the defense’s position.

During cross-examination, the complainant’s demeanor and responses raised questions about her credibility. Notably, her refusal to cooperate with the police in establishing the biological relationship between the accused and the alleged survivor became a focal point. The investigator, PW4, admitted that the complainant failed to cooperate in this regard, casting doubt on the veracity of her claims.

On the charge of defilement, contradictions, inconsistencies, and lack of corroborative evidence undermined the prosecution’s case. The court emphasized the failure to provide convincing evidence, stating, “Hence the prosecution failed to take the case out of the realm of conjecture, speculation, and suspicion because the evidence were not corroborated and could not convince the court.”

In a sweeping decision, H/H Dorinda Smith Arthur declared, “The court hereby enters submission of no case in accordance with Section 173 of Act 30 and accordingly acquits and discharges the accused persons on the offences of defilement, incest, assault, and abortion & abetment of abortion.” This ruling marks the collapse of the prosecution’s case and a significant legal victory for Hon Atta Mensah and Hon Kwesi Dawood.

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