A judge has ended efforts to reinstate a domestic-violence prosecution against Augustin Bahati, the Congolese refugee deemed culturally incompetent to stand trial earlier this year.
Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Chabot said she wouldn’t grant city prosecutors a do-over of the case and dismissed the misdemeanor charges against Bahati, 33: four counts of domestic violence and one of sexual assault.
The city’s top prosecutor on Tuesday ruled out an appeal.
“All I can say is we made a decision not to appeal,” said acting City Solicitor Emily Rice.
The Bahati case came to light in late June, when New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald raised issues with prosecutions of domestic violence cases in Manchester. MacDonald’s inquiry led to the abrupt retirements of the top two lawyers in the City Solicitor’s Office and attorney general oversight of some office operations.
Earlier this year Bahati avoided trial after the assistant city solicitor in charge of the domestic violence unit — Andrea Muller — accepted a psychologist’s findings that he lacked the cultural competency to participate in the American justice system.
New Hampshire law contains no provision that allows for cultural incompetence, and MacDonald’s office has said that Muller should have fought the incompetency finding.