Tsikata wants court to review order to hear trial in Gyakye Quayson case without accused person
Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament for Assin North has appealed to the High Court hearing his trial to review its stance taken on November 3 to hear the case in his absence.
He told the court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh that his client and lawyers were not aware of the November 3, 2023, sitting where the order to possibly try the case in his absence was given.
The accused, who is on trial for alleged counts of perjury and deceiving a public officer, was instructed by the court on November 3, 2023, to either appear in court or join a virtual link on November 9.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
This directive was necessitated by the failure of the accused person and his lawyers to make themselves available for proceedings at the last adjourned date.
Justice Yanzuh directed that the trial might continue in absentia if the accused, who she believed did not have any reasonable basis to be absent, repeated a similar act.
Mr Tsikata explained that Mr Gyakye Quayson was out of the country for medical tests and requisite treatment in Canada.
He said efforts have been made for the accused person to provide the court with updates on his medical situation.
But the Judge said there was no evidence before the court confirming the medical condition of the accused; hence, the court would treat it as though he had no medical condition as claimed.
The judge then ordered the trial to continue in his absence under article 19(3b) of the 1992 constitution and asked Mr Tsikata to conclude his cross-examination of prosecution witness one, one Richard Takyi.
The witness had been in the box since July 2022.
Initially, the Supreme Court nullified Quayson’s election as the Member of Parliament for Assin North over holding a Canadian citizenship alongside being a Ghanaian at the time he filed his nomination to contest the election in 2020.
Upon a by-election conducted by the Electoral Commission, the people of Assin North Constituency re-elected him to represent them in Parliament.