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16.06.2006 Politics

Konadu’s lawyers accuse A-G of abuse of office

By myjoyonline
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Lawyers of former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings have accused the Attorney General of abusing his office and subverting the judicial process by instituting a criminal case against their client and eight others in a case of causing financial loss to the state when a civil case regarding the same matter is pending.

Lead counsel, Tony Lithur therefore asked the court to allow the civil case involving the defendant on the same matter to be concluded before the criminal case proceeds.

Lawyers for Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings asked the Fast Track High court in Accra presided over by Justice Baffoe-Bonnie to uphold their application for stay of execution.

Mrs Rawlings, former Finance Minister Kwame Peprah, Emmanuel Agbodo, former chairman of the Divestiture Implementation Committee and six others are standing trial for alleged fraudulent sale of Nsawam Food Cannery to Caridem, a company owned by the former first lady.

Lead counsel Tony Lithur told the court that the Attorney General acted in bad faith by abusing his office and manipulating the trial process.

He said the Attorney General instituted criminal proceedings against the accused persons to undermine the civil case filed against them which is pending before another court.

Mr Lithur also pointed out that criminalizing the non-payment of interest on the purchase price of the cannery when government and the DIC are trying to resolve the matter in a civil court amounts to abuse of the judicial process. He asked the court to view the trial in context and advised the Attorney General to go to the civil court and try his chances there.

But the Attorney General, Joe Ghartey argued that there is no provision in the Criminal Code to warrant a stay of execution in a criminal case. According to him, if anything at all the civil case ought to be stayed pending the conclusion of the criminal case.

Former President Rawlings and some minority MPs were present in court to support the accused persons. The case has been adjourned to July 13.

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