Former state attorney and criminal law practitioner Augustine Obuor sides with sympathetic Ali-Gabass|Lawyers ready for "Second Chance" appeal
Dr. Sulley Ali-Gabass was arrested in October 2014 following an investigation by Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure Awuni, which revealed he allegedly had sexual intercourse with a sixteen-year-old senior high school boy. The boy said he was fifteen years they first time they had sex and has been diagnosed of HIV/AIDS
Dr. Sulley Ali-Gabass is a senior medical officer at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Takoradi.
The verdict on Monday morning, July 13th, 2015 handed in a case accused Dr. Sulley Ali-Gabass of defiling a child under 16 years and engaging in unnatural carnal knowledge, an offence he denied earlier .
The victim is alleged to have contracted the deadly HIV disease in the process and also suffered serious anal injuries, which had to be operated on and has been in custody over a two-count charge of defiling a child under 16 years and unnatural carnal knowledge, an offence he has denied.
The trial judge Rita Agyemang Budu in her ruling pronounced him guilty on defilement. He was, however, acquitted and discharged of the second count of having unnatural carnal knowledge of the victim. He was been slapped with a 25-year jail term by the Accra circuit court.
Convicted medical doctor Dr. Ali-Gabass will appeal the judgment that handed him maximum sentence for defiling a 16-year old boy, his lawyer indicates.
“We are considering appeal….we are going to ask for the record of proceedings and go to a higher court which will have to look at the evidence all over again and see whether he merits 25 years”, the lawyer Phixon Owool told Joy News’ Kwakye Afreh Nuamah.
The ruling has drawn mixed reaction on social media. Some believe the sentence is too unsympathetic while others say, it is deserving for a doctor who has jeopardized the life of a 16-year old boy.
Augustine Obuor sides with the sympathetic. “Normally you don’t impose a maximum sentence on a first time offender….It gives the impression that you don’t want him to have a second chance,” he told Joy News’ Top Story.
Although the judge believes the maximum sentence is needed as a deterrent for pedophiles, Augustine says a minimum sentence of seven years could be as well deterrent as the maximum sentence.
According to him, robbers get 80 years prison sentences and long jail term for rapist, they have not proved enough in deterring crime.
Even if a law is passed to impose capital punishment on criminals, people will still break the law, he said.
“Punishment alone does not bring a change to a person” he made reference to comments by a Supreme Court judge.
The former state attorney believes Dr. Gabass’ lawyers are likely to succeed at Appeal Court and hand down a reduced sentence.
Former state attorney and criminal law practitioner Augustine Obuor says as a first time offender, the maximum sentence of 25 years imposed on Dr. Ali-Gabass is too harsh and unfortunate.
“A medical doctor is going to spend this time in prison can you imagine that?” the stunned former state attorney said.
He says the judgment delivered by Circuit Court judge Rita Budu appears to be calculated at ending Gabass’ life in jail.