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Magistrate seizes reporters’ phones in court

A Magistrate at a District Court, who is presiding over the case involving the Chief Executive of Obengfo hospital, Dominic Obeng Andoh, yesterday ordered the seizure of mobile phones belonging to some journalists who were in court to cover the trial.

The Magistrate, Efua Sackey, before the beginning of the hearing ordered her Court Warrant Officer (CWO) to seize the phones.

She explained that the seizure was to prevent the journalists from recording court proceedings.

The recent action follows a similar one during the last hearing of the case, where she instructed journalists to report to the registrar of her court to seek clearance before accessing the court.

Some court correspondents which included Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson who reports for the Publisher Newspaper, Ghanaian Times’ Malik Suleiman, and the EIB Network’ Wilberforce Asare had their phones detained by the CWO for nearly an hour.

After the court sitting, the journalists who were affected by the decision of the Magistrate expressed their displeasure with the magistrate’s orders, indicating that her decision was alien to their previous experiences in courts, particularly in superior courts such as the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

The Police arrested Dr. Obeng-Andoh following the death of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP), Stacy Offei Darko, at the facility.

He was also arrested in December 2016, over suspicions of malpractice after the Medical and Dental Council said it had received several complaints from some persons who had patronised the facility.

The Council closed down the facility in January, 2017 over claims of illegal surgical procedures.

He was subsequently granted bail in the sum of 50,000.

Source: todaygh.com

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