June 13, 2024
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AG/Jakpa leaked tape: Court to rule on Ato Forson, Jakpa’s applications today

The High Court hearing the criminal case against Minority Leader and former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, is set to deliver four separate rulings today, Thursday, June 6.

This follows numerous applications filed by the first accused person and the third accused, Richard Jakpa.

The applications are an order of enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney-General following the allegations made by Richard Jakpa to the effect that the A-G has been calling him at odd hours; an order of mistrial with the aim of terminating the case; a stay of proceedings until the application is determined; and a motion asking the court to strike out charges against the businessman.

The Minority Leader and former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson filed three of the motions while the last one was filed by the businessman.

Dr Ato Forson and Richard Jakpa are on trial for willfully causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state, through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

When the case was called on Tuesday, the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, said she would make a determination based on the arguments canvassed in the legal documents filed for and in opposition to the motions.

Dr Ato Forson’s application

In his applications, Dr Forson argued that the allegations made by Mr Jakpa, which have been uncontested reflects a collusion between the prosecution and the businessman.

He also described it as a calculated agenda to incriminate him and desecrate the course of justice in the case.

According to him, the conduct of the A-G is a gross violation of his right to fair trial. He is therefore praying the court to restrain the A-G from continuing with the prosecution of the case.

“That I believe that the Attorney-General’s decision to file the nolle prosequi against a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health at the time he did and the collusive conduct now revealed by Mr Jakpa are all part of an unwholesome and well-orchestrated scheme or enterprise by the Attorney-General aired solely at securing my conviction in this matter at all costs.

“That the impugned conduct stated above has caused me great apprehension and shaken my faith in the criminal proceedings. I say that this is an appropriate case for the court to order a mistrial or exercise its powers under its inherent jurisdiction to restrain the prosecution from further prosecuting this case or stay proceedings until the serious matters raised in this case against the A-G are inquired into and resolved,” Mr Forson stressed.

Richard Jakpa’s application

In his application, Mr Jakpa is seeking an order striking out the charges against him as well as the termination of the proceedings.

He argues that the charges and proceedings initiated by Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame constitute an abuse of court processes and violate the obligations set in the 1992 Constitution.

He believes the Attorney-General is misusing his constitutional powers by prosecuting him without justification.

A-G’s response

But the Office of the Attorney General in affidavits in opposition avers that it is in the public interest that the case be brought to a firm conclusion based on the credible evidence before the court.

In the case of Dr Forson, the affidavit in opposition argues that continuing his prosecution to its logical conclusion would uphold the principle of equality of all persons before the law and defeat the perception that the powerful and politically connected can get away with crimes because of undue pressure and false allegations.

Responding to claims by Jakpa, the affidavit in opposition indicates that although he levels many untrue and wild allegations against the Attorney General in his affidavit in support, none of them attacks the integrity of the court or questions any decision or action by the trial court which impedes the capacity of the court to administer justice in this case.

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