The punishment issued to the 13 Delta Force members for escaping from court custody is not harsh enough, according to the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

In a Citi News interview, the MP argued that, the unprecedented nature of the crime and the international embarrassment that came with it, warranted sanctions that would serve as a deterrent.

The 13 Delta Force members were fined 200 penalty units, translating to GHc2,400 or in default spend three years in prison.

They are also to sign a bond of good behaviour and abide by the terms for a period of six months or in default serve two years jail term.

The members, however remain on trial on the initial charges of conspiracy to assault a public officer and causing unlawful damage, after they allegedly raided the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, and assaulted the Regional Security Coordinator because they were against his appointment.

Fines will not serve as deterrent

Though the 13 remain on trial, Mr. Ablakwa said he still held the view that “the court decision on the matter of their arrest is not harsh enough to serve as a deterrent. It would appear that it is just a slap on the wrist.”

“If you look at the fact this has never happened in our history and how their singular act has attracted so much negative international publicity and negative international attention which is undermining our democratic credentials and reducing our status in the comity of nations.”

Mr. Ablakwa noted further that, the UN had even been compelled to issue a “damning” statement on the incident.

“I thought that the respective judges should have taken all of this into consideration because this is really akin to a jailbreak, and normally when these things happen in other jurisdictions, the severest of sanctions are issued.”

The UN in a joint statement from the special representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel; Mohammed Ibn Chambas, and the Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Ghana; Christiane Evans-Klock, described the attacks in Kumasi as reprehensible.

The UN also called for a thorough government investigation into these incidents, noting that Ghana’s image was being affected by these developments in Kumasi

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana