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07.03.2007 General News

'Don't doubt independence of personnel of A-G Department

A former Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu has said it is improper for any entity including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to cast aspersion on the integrity or independence of the personnel of the Attorney General's Department.

The former vice presidential candidate of the NDC said the career prosecutors in the Attorney General's Department were not dictated to by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General regarding the merits or otherwise of their cases or in their prosecution for them.

In a statement in which he commented on the conviction of a former deputy Minister of Trade, Dan Abodakpi, Mr Amidu said Mr Abodakpi was convicted by a duly constituted court of law but members of the former administration were being prosecuted inspite of the fact that certain government officials were guilty of similar offences.

“Base on my experience, the overwhelming majority of judges are independent and they are certainly not subject to direction or pressure from third parities, including the executive branch of government,” he stated.

He agreed with Mr Abodakpi's decision requesting his NDC members of Parliament who boycotted Parliament to rescind their decision. He also agreed with Abodakpi's decision to appeal the conviction and sentence in another court.

Mr Amidu said it was the province of any government, including the current one to prosecute any crimes that it alleged had been committed.

He pointed out that Prof John Evans Atta Mills promised to investigate all reasonable allegations of corruption and abuse of office is they had won the 2000 election.

“We indeed intended to do so-these are crimes which go beyond government and constitute violence to the very structures of the society,” he stated.

He said what was worrying was the prosecution of only members if the former administration and a complete refusal or failure to prosecute contemporaneously known offences committed by the current government's own appointees.

Source: Daily Graphic