South Dayi Member of Parliament Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor has said he is wondering what will happen to investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas following the judgment on the case against Assin Central lawmaker Kennedy Agyapong.
The Accra High Court on Wednesday, March 15 dismissed the GH¢25 million defamation suit against Kennedy Ohene Agyapong brought by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The judge, Justice Eric Baah, held that Anas Aremeyaw Anas failed to prove that Ken Agyapong defamed him by airing the documentary – “Who watches the watchman” – but rather, the documentary exposed shady deals that Anas and his associates were involved in.
This was after Anas, in 2018, sued the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker for allegedly defaming him.
Anas prayed to the court to award GH¢25 million against Mr Agyapong to compensate him for the defamatory material published against him by the MP.
The court concluded that what Anas is engaged in is not investigative journalism but rather “investigative terrorism” and that Agyapong was justified to call Anas “a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist, and evil”.
“I find the claims by the plaintiff [Anas Aremeyaw Anas) meritless and they are hereby dismissed,” Justice Baah ruled.
But Anas said he disagreed with the judge both on law and on the facts of the case.
He accused Justice Baah of delving into the arena of criminal prosecution against him despite the matter being a civil case.
“My team and I and the lawyers have carefully studied the judgment delivered by the court and we are unanimous that the judge made an overreach and descended into the arena and made criminal pronouncements about me as If I was standing a criminal trial.
“He also justified the MP accusing me of the murder of JB Danquah, murder of 20 Chinese nationals. We are filing an appeal because there was no evidence provided,” Anas said in a video recording responding to the judgment.”
He added “…I disagreed with the judge’s ruling both on law and the facts. when I started this work 21 years ago, I never assumed that it would be an easy road yet it is the evidence in my work and the commitment to truth and justice that has always led and prevailed against all the forces that have worked to pull us down”
Speaking on this development on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 18, Mr Dafeamekpor said “for a judge to establish that you are an extortionist in a judgment is a serious thing. Extortion is one of the conducts that we criminalize in this country.
“If you take Article 21, we criminalize the conduct of extorting money from a third person with the intent to derive some properties from the person, that is blackmail, it is a second-degree felony it is such a serious offense. So I am wondering what will happen in this matter when a judge says that ‘I have judiciary established that you are an extortionist’.”