Sale of Ghana Airways: Appeal filed by two former public officials adjourned

An appeal filed by two ex-officials accused of causing financial loss to the state regarding the sale of Ghana Airways and the operations of the Ghana International Airline (GIA) was on Tuesday adjourned indefinitely by the Court of Appeal (CA).

Adjourning the matter Mr Justice Yaw Appau, who presided at the CA, noted that the defence team had not been served with the record of proceedings.

The CA therefore ordered that the record of proceeding be served on the defence team.

The other members on the CA panel were Mr Justice Sir Dennis Adjei and Mr Justice Isaac Douse.

The two are Dr Richard Anane, a former Minister of Transport, and Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, filed the appeal against the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court, which on July 16, 2010 refused to refer the matter to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the issues raised by the accused persons did not border on the Constitution.

Mr Jacob Acquah-Sampson represented Dr Anane while Mr Atta Akyea represented Dr Akoto.

Those charged alongside the two are Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, a former Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs; Mr Sammy Crabbe, a former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, a former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

They variously face 22 counts of causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to deceive public officers, deceit of public officer, misappropriation of public funds, opening an offshore account without authorisation from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), conspiracy to commit stealing and stealing.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court, presided over by Mr Justice Bright Mensah, has granted them self-recognisance bail.

The accused persons had requested for relevant documents to aid their defence, under Article 19 (2e) of the 1992 Constitution, which states that “a person charged with criminal offence shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence”.

But the State opposed the application on the grounds that sections 163 and 181 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1960 (Act 30) do not allow accused persons who are standing trial summarily to have access to such documents before they are tendered in evidence as exhibits.

Giving its ruling on July 16, 2010, the court upheld the state’s submissions and accordingly ordered the accused persons to present themselves for trial.

Source: GNA

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