13th June 2024

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson

The High Court in Accra yesterday dismissed an application inviting it to halt trial and order an enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, in respect of the case in which the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, and a businessman are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state.

In a ruling, the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, who dismissed the application filed by the Minority Leader and the businessman, said the court had no jurisdiction in a criminal matter to order an enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney-General, particularly when it had called on the accused persons to open their defence after the prosecution had closed its case.

Applications thrown out

Specifically, she dismissed the application on grounds that there was no legal basis in the country’s statutes to make such an order.

The court also ruled that no special circumstance had been established to order a stay of proceedings and order a mistrial.

Supplementary affidavit

On June 3, Dr Ato Forson filed a supplementary affidavit in support of the motion on notice for an order of mistrial, injunction and/or stay of proceedings in the ongoing ambulance case against him and two others.

Lawyers for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam legislator cited a leaked tape between the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, and the third accused, Richard Jakpa, in which the former allegedly attempted to coach the third accused to implicate Dr Ato Forson in the ongoing trial, for the application.

Ato Forson’s legal team in the affidavit argued that the Attorney-General misconducted himself and called for the prosecution to be declared a mistrial.

“It has become necessary to file this affidavit in order to bring to the attention of the Court and in the interest of justice, certain pertinent, material and relevant matters that have a bearing on the fair and just determination of the current application.

“That I say that I have since filing the instant application had the opportunity of listening to a recording widely circulating in the media depicting the voices of the Attorney-General and A3 fervently discussing the evidence the Attorney-General will prefer the said A3 to adduce at the trial. At the hearing of the instant application, my counsel will seek leave of the court to have the said audio recording played in open court.”

The Minority Leader further argued that failure to order a mistrial in such circumstances, where there appears to be a blatant disregard for the rule of law and ethical standards of prosecution by none other than the Attorney-General, could severely undermine public confidence in the judicial process.

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