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27.11.2007 General News

Supreme Court decides Tsatsu’s case November 28

Supreme Court decides Tsatsu’s case November 28

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday, November 28, decide whether or not the Country Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) should be invited to testify in the case in which Tsatsu Tsikata, former CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, is being tried by an Accra Fast Track High Court for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

The Fast Track Court had adjourned the substantive case to December 6, to enable the Supreme Court to dispose of the application.

On November 30, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal application filed by Tsatsu against the Court of Appeal's decision reached on December 19, 2006, that the Country Director of IFC is immune from testifying in his case.

As a result of these developments, the Fast Track Court on October 31 adjourned the matter to December 6, to enable the Supreme Court to decide on the two applications brought before it by Tsatsu.

If the Supreme Court dismisses the applications, then the trial court will, on December 6, fix a date to deliver its judgment in Tsatsu's case, because both the prosecution and the defence have rested their cases.

On the grounds of appeal, Professor Emmanuel Victor Oware Dankwa, counsel for Tsatsu, avers that the Court of Appeal gravely erred when it used a statutory provision on immunity of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from judicial process to decide the issue before them about immunity of the IFC.

Counsel further avers that based on the grave error of using a statutory provision on the immunity of the IMF, when the case concerns the IFC, the Court of Appeal further erred in failing to enforce the constitutional rights of his client to a fair trial and to have a witness attend to give evidence in the case.

Furthermore, counsel avers that the Court of Appeal erred in failing to appreciate that the High Court, having issued a subpoena to the IFC Country Director to attend court to give evidence and produce documents, was misled to set aside that order on the basis of counsel for the IFC relying on a statutory provision relating to the IMF.

Counsel also avers that the Court of Appeal erred in failing to appreciate that certain immunities provided for specified officials of the IFC only related to their own acts, and not to acts of others, for example, consultants of the corporation who were not among those specified and in respect of whose acts therefore no immunity from testifying could be invoked by the specified officials.

Tsatsu has pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him, and is on a self-recognisance bail.