Judge advises Attorney General to recuse himself from Ambulance trial

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Citing claims of professional and prosecutorial misconduct, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe of the High Court has advised Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, to step aside from the ambulance procurement case involving Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and Richard Jakpa.

Godfred Dame attempted to clarify himself by getting to his feet, but the judge stuck to her position.

This ruling comes after independent applications that were submitted by Richard Jakpa, the third accused, and Dr. Forson, the first accused.

In response to Jakpa’s allegations that the Attorney-General had been contacting him at strange hours, the applicants asked for a number of orders, including an investigation into the Attorney-General’s behavior.

In addition, they asked for a mistrial to dismiss the case, a halt to the legal process until the petitions were resolved, and a move to have Jakpa’s charges dropped.

Three of these motions were filed by Jakpa, the minority leader and former deputy finance minister, Dr. Ato Forson.

Both are on trial, among other things, for allegedly causing the state to lose €2.37 million on a deal to buy 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health.

For prosecutorial misconduct, the court declined jurisdiction to order an inquiry and declare a mistrial; nevertheless, if Dr. Ato Forson wanted to take the case further, he was instructed to seek recourse from the General Legal Council.

Furthermore, the court overruled the Attorney General’s objections to the admissibility of a telephone recording that was made between Jakpa and the Attorney General and admitted it as evidence.

This decision is historic since it is the first time an Attorney-General has been recommended to withdraw himself from a trial because of charges of misconduct by a Ghanaian court.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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