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‘Desist From Attempts To Manipulate Public Opinion’ – Judge Warns Parties In Ato Forson Case



The trial against Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Leader in Parliament, took an unexpected turn on Tuesday as a heated exchange erupted between Sammy Gyamfi, Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe. The confrontation occurred in open court during proceedings related to the controversial ambulance purchase case.

The altercation began when Justice Asare-Botwe took exception to comments made by Mr. Gyamfi. The NDC Communications Officer firmly refused to accept what he perceived as an unjust characterisation by the judge, leading to a tense exchange. The situation escalated until Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, former Attorney General and a supporter of Dr. Ato Forson, intervened and called for calm. Subsequently, the judge invited the involved parties, including Mr. Gyamfi and Ms. Appiah-Oppong, into her chambers for a private discussion.

Following the hearing, Mr. Gyamfi spoke to JoyNews, expressing his view that the court had misunderstood his remarks. He clarified that his comments were hypothetical and not directed at the presiding judge or the current trial. “It was a hypothetical statement, that if you have an Attorney General, who can call an accused person on the blindside of his lawyer, when he knows that the ethics of the Bar is against that, then that person certainly can call a…, then I said whatever I said, it was not in reference to this,” Gyamfi explained. He further asserted that there would be evidence to support his hypothetical scenario, indicating misconduct unrelated to the current case.

Prior to the incident, Justice Asare-Botwe had issued a warning to all parties to moderate their public comments and assertions outside the courtroom. She emphasized that any attempts to scandalize the court would not be tolerated and that she would not be influenced by external commentaries. Her warning followed media debates and allegations made by the third accused, Richard Jakpa, against the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame Yeboah. Mr. Jakpa claimed that the Attorney-General had repeatedly pressured him at odd hours to incriminate Dr. Ato Forson.

In response to these allegations, Justice Asare-Botwe called for a meeting with the Attorney-General and Dr. Forson’s legal team, which lasted approximately 30 minutes. The statements by Mr. Jakpa were subsequently recorded in the court’s proceedings. The Attorney-General’s office has denied the allegations, branding them as false and misleading. However, the accusations have sparked calls for a special investigation into Mr. Dame’s conduct, with some private legal practitioners advocating for his resignation.

The ambulance purchase trial continues to draw significant public attention, highlighting the intense political and legal battles surrounding the case.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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