Judicial officials reportedly receive bribe to ‘lose’ case
US report lament lengthy pretrial detention
US report decry poor prison conditions
The U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has observed that lengthy pretrial detention has become a serious problem in the country.
According to the report, 12 percent of 1, 595 prisoners in September were in pretrial status.
It highlighted that, “the government kept prisoners in extended pretrial detention due to police failure to investigate or follow up on cases, case files lost when police prosecutors rotated to other duties every three years, slow trial proceedings marked by frequent adjournments, detainees’ inability to meet bail conditions that were often set extremely high even for minor offenses, and inadequate legal representation for criminal defendants”.
It further noted that record keeping inefficiencies contributed to prisoners spending extended time in detention, with some up to 10 years.
The report added that the judiciary continued to implement a case tracking system with some stakeholders calling for it to be used as basis for the release of remand prisoners held for a lengthy period.
“Inadequate recordkeeping contributed to prisoners being held in egregiously excessive pretrial detention, a few for up to 10 years.
“Judicial authorities continued implementing a case tracking system on a trial basis in seven different regions. The system tracked cases from initial arrest to remand custody in the prisons, prosecution in the courts, and incarceration or dismissal.
“The system was envisioned to be used by all judicial and law enforcement participants, including police, public defenders, prosecutors, courts, prisons, the Legal Aid Commission, the Economic and Organized Crimes Office, and NGOs, with the intention of increasing transparency and accountability.
“Some commentators believed the tracking system could be used to press for release of remand prisoners held for lengthy periods”
Read The Full Report Here:
Adwoa Adubia News