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Supreme Court Judge expresses concern over prosecution of corruption cases

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Ghana’s Supreme Court

A Supreme Court Judge, Nene Amegatcher, has expressed concern over what he says is the trend of lawyers using court processes to frustrate the prosecution of corruption-related cases.

He observed that such lawyers deliberately raise multiple objections and utilize appeals all the way to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t think it is in the interest of this country if we want to fight corruption and corruption related offences.

“I see the trend where lawyers and parties abuse court processes to frustrate prosecution of corruption and corruption -related offences,” Justice Amegatcher said.

He made these comments when the Court was invited by lawyers of the founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, to rule on two applications.

One was asking the Court to allow the lawyers to challenge a Court of Appeal decision that upheld a High Court ruling.

This High Court ruling admitted into evidence four unsigned documents of the third accused person in the trial, Fitzgerald Odonkor; which the lawyers said were injurious to the defence of his client.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the High Court did no wrong in admitting the evidence.

Lawyers for Mr. Essien led by Baffuor Gyawu Bonsu Ashia on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to allow it challenge this decision.

They also want the court to halt the trial at the High Court.

The Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse turned down these requests.

Other panel members on the case included Justices Nene Amegatcher, Prof Ashie Kotey, Gertrude Torkonoo and Yonny Kulendi.

It was prior to these rulings that Justice Amegatcher expressed the concern about how such applications delay prosecution.

He pointed out that some countries have passed laws to prevent such applications during trials.

Mr. Essien’s trial, meanwhile, resumes at the High Court on Thursday June 23.

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