Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, the presiding judge in the ongoing ambulance trial has dismissed all four applications filed by Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and Richard Jakpa.

The Court in its separate rulings said the applications for an order of mistrial, inquiry into the conduct of AG, injunction, and stay of proceedings are without legal basis.

In a separate ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe said that there is no legal basis for the court to order for inquiry into the conduct of prosecution when the case is pending

The court said, “maybe another forum and not the court.”

Dr. Ato Forson, the current minority leader, and Richard Jakpa, a businessman are standing 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.

On Tuesday, June 4, the trial judge adjourned the case to today, Thursday, June 6, 2024, to deliver her rulings on all four separate applications filed before the court.

Essentially, the applications are seeking an order to discontinue the trial of the two accused persons following allegations against the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame.

Dr. Ato Forson, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam’s lawyers led by Dr. Abdul Aziz Basit Bamba are asking the court for an order of injunction against the Attorney General or his office from further prosecuting their client.

He is also seeking a mistrial which is aimed at terminating the proceedings and also a stay of proceedings pending an appeal to challenge the Court’s earlier decision for them to start cross-examination of Mr Jakpa, the third accused before the Attorney General.

For his part, Mr. Richard Jakpa is asking the court to strike out the charges against him on ground that it violates his right to a fair trial.

Jakpa’s request was also supported by lawyers of the former deputy finance Minister who have filed an affidavit in support of the application filed by Jakpa.

They are asking for the charge of causing financial loss to the state leveled against him to be struck out.

The applications before Justice Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal are premised on the third accused person’s allegations that Godfred Dame, the Attorney General has met with him and impressed on him to implicate the first accused- Ato Forson in order to secure his conviction.

AG’s opposition

The applications have been vehemently opposed by the Attorney General, describing them as frivolous and that “the accused persons are bent on using any means necessary, fair, or foul, to abort their legitimate prosecution for crimes committed against the Republic, and must not be aided in that illegitimate endeavor through a grant of the instant application.”

The affidavit in opposition also contended that it is in the public interest that the case be brought to a firm conclusion based on the credible evidence before the court.

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, did not allow viva voce (oral submissions) on the application.

She said the documents filed by the lawyers and the State are extensive enough for the court to consider them and deliver a ruling.

Justice Asare-Botwe also said the court will also analyze the audio tape attached by Richard Jakpa to his application, with emphasis on its endorsement and admissibility.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah reports that Justice Asare-Botwe’s rulings will also deal with an objection raised by Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Jakpa, against the deponent of the Attorney General’s affidavit in opposition to the businessman’s application.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Murtala Inusah