Court dismisses Ato Forson’s applications for mistrial, inquiry

Ato Forson

A High Court in Accra Thursday dismissed three applications filed by Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority leader, for mistrial in the ongoing 2.37 million euros Ambulance Case.

The court presided over by Justice Mrs. Afia Serwa Asare-Botwe, Court of Appeal Judge, in her 40-page ruling, also dismissed two similar applications filed by Businessman Richard Jakpa, who is also being held in the case.

”I shall decline the invitation for a mistrial as there is no provision under the rule of law for the court to declare a mistrial.

“There is also no basis to allow inquiry into the Attorney General ‘s conduct.”

The Court, however, advised the Attorney-General, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, to as an individual, to stay off the matter and not be directly involved in the ongoing case.

The applications were seeking the order of the court to inquire into the activities of the Attorney-General on alleged private phone conversations he had with Mr Jakpa.

The order for mistrial was to truncate the ongoing trial, with an order for stay of proceedings pending the determination of the court’s rulings.

Additionally, Mr Jakpa was seeking an order from the court striking out charges preferred against him.

The Court, in its ruling, held that it had not been conferred with the powers to determine matters of misconduct, and that issues of misconduct were solely determined by the General Legal Council.

It held that after listening to the audio recordings of the conversation between Mr Jakpa and the Attorney General, there was no indication that he (the AG) asked Jakpa to help him make a case against Dr Forson.

Despite the advice given to the AG, he went ahead with the prosecution of the matter as the court decided to continue with cross examination of Mr Jakpa.

Meanwhile, Mr Jakpa has produced and tendered pen-drives of the alleged private conversation between him and the Attorney General.

The two applicants are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss of 2.37 million euros to the State through the procurement of some ambulances for the Health Ministry.

Dr Forson was granted a self-recognizance bail of GH¢3 million for allegedly willfully causing financial loss of 2,370,000 euros to the State.

He is also facing an additional charge of “Intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD 140).”

Mr Jakpa was also granted bail of five million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property. 

The trial will continue June 11, 2024.

Source: GNA

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