Lawyers representing David Safranu, a Nigerian national sentenced to five-year imprisonment for kidnapping, have challenged the judgment of Criminal Court ‘D’ announcing an appeal before the Supreme Court.
The lawyers are contending that the defendant was not on trial for conspiracy to commit terrorism, which the trial jury relied upon to pronounce him guilty.
Instead, he was on trial for terrorism, a capital offense and first degree felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, which prosecution could not established during the entire proceedings.
However, the jurors in their verdict acquitted defendant Safranu from the charge of terrorism, one of prosecutions main demands.
He was charged in September 2012 by the government with multiple crimes including; terrorism, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy and facilitation for his role in the kidnapping of an American citizen, Christiana Andrainpoulus.
But, Judge Yussif Kaba insisted that criminal conspiracy was one of the charges levied against the defendant, as such, evidence before the court proved his guilt.
He made that clarity when he confirmed the initial guilty verdict on criminal conspiracy entered against the defendant by the trial jurors.
Interestingly, the crime is bailable under the law. However, judicial sources hinted to the Daily Observer that the defense team was considering every legal means to secure a bail bond for Safranu’s release from further detention, pending the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Madam Andrianopoulos was kidnapped in 2012 when she arrived in the country aboard an SN Brussels flight from the United States of America.
She complained that her kidnappers engaged her in a lengthy conversation and subsequently escorted her into a very dark car before holding her at gun point.
According to her, while under gun point her suspects took her into a house where they kept her in captivity for three days under severe torture.
She claimed that the men stripped her naked, tied her legs and threatened to take her life by attempting to cut her fingers and toes; all the while demanding US$5 million.
“They said I was a spy, a CIA spy and tied me to a chair and tied my legs and threatened to take my life. Their boss claimed he was a rebel leader,” Andrianopoulos claimed.