Court Rules For Ex-Ministers
Three Court of Appeal Judges yesterday unanimously granted a stay of proceedings at the trial of Dr. Richard Anane, former Minister for Roads and Transport, and four former officials of the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration being tried at an Accra Fast Track High Court, Financial Division for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, pending the final determination of their appeal. The three judges, Justices Isaac Duose, Victor Ofoe, and K.A. Acquaye, were of the opinion that the issues raised in the substantive appeal by the applicants, Dr. Anane and Dr. Anthony Osei-Akoto, former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, were not frivolous and should therefore be heard. In a ruling by the presiding judge, Justice Duose, the judges said that the state would not suffer any damage if the case was stayed but if the trial at the High Court was not stayed and the applicants had legitimate concerns for which they wanted to appeal, then the applicants stood a greater chance of losing, as the case was a criminal matter and could lead to incarceration. They therefore ordered that the trial at the High Court presided over by Justice Bright Mensah be halted till the final hearing of the appeal. The state was represented by Gertrude Aikins while Dr. Anane was represented by Jacob Acquah-Sampson, Ken Anku and Joshua Nimako, with Atta Akyea representing Dr. Osei-Akoto. The former officials, Dr. Anane, also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Osei-Akoto, MP for Old Tafo, Kwadwo Mpiani, former Chief of Staff, Sammy Crabbe, former NPP Greater Accra Regional Chairman and Prof George Gyan Baffuor, MP for Wenchi and former Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, are in court for their alleged role leading to the collapse of the Ghana International Airlines. The applicants, on behalf of the rest, have filed an appeal against Justice Mensah’s refusal to order the prosecution team to give copies of statements the applicants gave the police after their arrest, and documents the state intends to use against them. They have also appealed against the judge’s refusal to refer certain portions of the case to the Supreme Court for interpretation and wanted the state to give the defence team a list of witnesses the state intends to use against them. The trial at the High Court has been adjourned to December 20, 2010.
Source: Daily Guide- Ghana