Andrew Vortia, the lawyer for popular Ghanaian actress, Rosemond Brown, known on social media as Akuapem Poloo, has disclosed that the appeal filed against the 90-day jail term handed to his client has the support of the state.
While Akuapem Poloo is undergoing COVID-19 tests before she is incarcerated, her lawyers continue to fight a legal battle to secure a “more lenient” sentence.
The legal team filed the appeal on Monday, April 19, 2021, and a subsequent bail application to keep Akuapem Poloo out of prison while the appeal is being heard and determined.
Andrew Vortia told Citi News that he is confident in his course as both the Attorney General and the prosecutor in the matter share his opinion on the sentence.
“The Attorney General is of the view that the sentence was a bit harsh. So he asked if I have filed an appeal, and when I said yes, he told me that I have his backing. It is surprising to note that when the judge inquired from the prosecution what she had to say, she said the accused person is not known to the court and is a first time offender. She told the court [Akuapem Poloo] is also a single mother, and that she prays against a custodial sentence.”
“Those were the exact words captured by the judgement of the court. Even the prosecutor was against a custodial sentence and would have opted for a fine or a caution,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Akuapem Poloo was found guilty of posting a nude photo of herself and her seven-year-old son on June 30, 2020.
She pleaded guilty to all three charges and was convicted on her own plea by the court though she had initially pleaded not guilty.
She was handed her sentence following her conviction on charges of publication of obscene material and domestic violence by an Accra circuit court.
The judge, Christina Cann, bemoaned the spate of nudity on Ghanaian social media, maintaining that the punishment meted out to Akuapem Polo must serve as a deterrent to others.
Appeal will be difficult’
But private legal practitioner, Bernard Owiredu has made a point that seeking an appeal on the judge’s ruling will be quite difficult given the nature of the case and judgement.
“It is all within the strategy of the lawyer but looking at how the appellate system works, it will eat into the jail term. I am thinking that the judge will not even grant bail pending the appeal. Once the lawyer files the appeal, he may succeed in securing bail pending appeal. It happens, but it is very rare. If not, by the time the appeal is heard, 50-days might have passed already.”
“I think a full trial would have been the best. Now, it will be very difficult to appeal against the conviction. He can only appeal against the sentencing because the conviction was on her own plea”, he told Citi News.