The High Court (Criminal Court 1 division), has ordered former CocoBod Chief, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, to bring in his next witness to avoid any further “delay in the trial of this four-year-old criminal case”.
The Court said Samuel Torbi, a recuperating witness, “should be allowed to recover, and that at any time that he recovers, he could be recalled for further cross-examination”.
For the second successive court date on Monday, Samuel Torbi, who is Dr. Opuni's second witness, failed to show up in court.
Dr. Opuni's lead lawyer, Samuel Cudjoe, told the Court that doctors at the Ridge Hospital had given Samuel Torbi, “an excise duty for one week” from May 20, 2022.
Unable to disclose the exact nature of the ailment, Samuel Cudjoe told the court that the doctors insisted they could only release the medical records upon court order.
Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson, who leads the charge of the State in the matter, told the court they were indeed served with the excuse duty form. She however lamented the failure to disclose the exact nature of the ailment the witness was suffering.
The Chief State Attorney thus urged the court to order the attending doctor at Ridge Hospital to testify to the circumstances of the witness. This, she argued, would help the court better manage the conduct of the case, and to help advise the court on calling the next witness of Dr. Opuni.
But the Court, presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga of the Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court Judge, held that ordering the medical doctor to testify could further delay the trial.
His lordship thus ordered that Samul Torbi be allowed to fully recover before he is put back into the box for cross-examination.
Justice Honyenuga however warned of the possibility of expunging Mr. Torbi's testimony from the records.
The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 25, 2022, for the next witness to be heard.