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Drama Over Kennedy


Drama Over Kennedy

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Five Supreme Court Justices will on July 4, 2012 decide whether or not to order a new trial in the case involving Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, who has been accused of inciting tribal hatred.

This was after the state, led by Rexford Wiredu, filed an application for judicial review to restart the trial of the MP who is facing charges of attempted treason, genocide and terrorism.

Kwame Amoako, a state attorney in the case who moved the application yesterday, told the court presided over by Justice Date-Baah that the MP was brought before the High Court for a committal.

According to him, they had filed the application with the aim of discontinuing the trial at the High Court because they did not plan to continue it there.

Justice-Date-Baah consequently asked the state attorney why the state thought it necessary to file an application for a judicial review when they could have easily filed a nolle prosequi.

The state attorney, who seemed to have difficulty convincing the judges about the application, drew laughter from the courtroom when he said he thought that was the best decision to take.

This prompted the judges to ask the state attorney why his seniors would leave him to face the Supreme Court alone, stating that the Supreme Court was a place for serious matters.

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Counsel for the MP, Ayikoi Otoo, who is also a former Attorney-General, said the State had the power to bring the proceedings to a halt and explained that the state went to the High Court with nothing to indicate that they were there for a committal.

According to him, if the state believed that there was an error at the High Court, they should remedy it instead of coming to the Supreme Court with a frivolous and unmeritorious application.

He consequently prayed the court to quash the application.

The Supreme Court had the matter adjourned to July 4 for a ruling.

However, another application by the state to quash the decision of the Human Rights Court to grant bail to the MP on health grounds also drew laughter as the Principal State Attorney, Mr. Wiredu, also failed to explain why they had filed the application when he knew the case had been discontinued.

According to the state attorney, the Human Rights Court had no jurisdiction to grant bail to the MP. When asked if he meant that the court had no discretion to take decisions, he said that was not what he meant.

Mr. Wiredu failed to justify why the application was filed, as it was obvious that the case had been discontinued when the MP was arraigned immediately after the Human Rights Court had granted him bail on health grounds.

Mr. Ayikoi Otoo said he had filed an affidavit in opposition to the application.

Counsel for the MP admitted that he had not served the state his affidavit in opposition, prompting Justice Date-Baah to declare the submissions by both parties to the application null and void because one party was yet to be served.

The case has been adjourned sine die.

Other judges in the matter were Justices Julius Ansah, Anin Yeboah, Vida Akoto-Bamfo and Sule Gbadegbe.

The principal state attorney, in the trial of the MP, refused to answer questions on the whereabouts of his docket at the last hearing.

The state attorney, in response to a question by Nii Ayikoi Otoo, who wanted to find out whether or not the docket had been returned by the police, said its whereabouts was not necessary.

The MP has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted treason, genocide and terrorism and is on a GH¢200,000 bail.

The state attorney informed the court that he had filed an application for judicial review at the Supreme Court under Rule 61 of the Supreme Court Rule CI (16) to have the court quash the decision of the High Court to grant bail to the MP.

He prayed the court to adjourn the case for the matter to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Nii Ayikoi Otoo said that an application at the Supreme Court did not automatically operate as a stay of proceedings and said if the state was not willing to go on with the trial, the accused person should be acquitted.

However the trial judge, Justice Charles Quist, said he would stay proceedings at the court to allow the state to go to the Supreme Court.

By Fidelia Achama

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana



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