UTV invasion: Option of fine imposed on thugs not deterrent enough – GJA President

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has said that the fines imposed on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) thugs who invaded UTV studios two weeks ago are not enough to deter others from committing the same crime.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the President of GJA, Albert Dwumfuor said they believe the thugs were handed the GHS2,400 fine because the police did not impose much stricter charges on the culprits.

He stated that the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and rioting are inadequate, soft-handed and minimalistic.

Mr Dwumfour listed charges the GJA believes should have been investigated and imposed including unlawful entry, rioting with weapons, assault and battery, causing harm, unlawful assembly, offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace, forcible entry and threat of harm.

“We acknowledge that the judge has the discretion of either imposing a custody sentence or a fine, which is also a form of punishment under our criminal correspondence, which may have informed the magistrate to opt for the imposition of a fine.”

“It is our view that the option of a fine imposed is not deterrent enough. That may largely be due to the fact that the charges preferred by the police were not thorough enough. We believe if all the offenses mentioned above had been investigated and preferred against the thugs, stiffer punishments would have been imposed on them than the fine of 200 penalty units each,” the GJA President added.

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