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June 19, 2008 | Politics

...Reactions On Ruling On Tsatsu

Kwadwo B. Donkor - newtimesonline.com

DR Simtim Togbiga, a leading member of the People’s National Convention (PNC), has described the conviction of Mr Tsatsu Tsikata yesterday by an Accra Fast Track High Court, as very shocking.

He said following the evidence that was given in court during the trial, it was difficult for him to accept that he could be convicted.

Dr Togbiga, who is also a prominent lawyer, said one critical point of the case was whether the GNPC authorised the payment.

He explained that even though at the time of the payment, it was not authorised, 'the board ratified it at a subsequent meeting', and he thought this would have absolved Mr Tsikata of any criminal charges.

Even though he admitted that it is the duty of every citizen to respect the decision of the court and not to comment on a case after a decision has been taken, 'it is the right of citizens to comment after a judgment has been pronounced'.

'It is shocking that he has been found guilty,' he emphasised.

However, another prominent lawyer, A.G. Boadu, advised Ghanaians not to be swayed by emotions but rather look at the larger interest.

look at the larger interest.In a telephone interview with the Times yesterday, he also called on the citizenry to respect the decision of the court, saying every decision that emanates from a competent court of jurisdiction 'must be presumed to be right until the judgement is reversed on appeal.

'Whoever is aggrieved by the decision of as court is advised to appeal the decision,' he stated.

Mr Boadu said the spirit behind the law, causing financial loss, is good as it is meant to protect national assets.

'For the peace of the country, everybody should respect the judgement of a competent court of jurisdiction and put our political and emotional judgements aside.

Mr Doe Adjaho, Deputy Minority leader, said what happened yesterday was most unfair and unacceptable.

He said, 'under our criminal law an accused person is entitled to a lawyer of his choice.'

He criticized the judge for proceeding with the case although Tsatsu’s lawyer was out of town.

Mr Adjaho said that Tsatsu’s lawyer had earlier notified the court that he was travelling abroad and therefore asked for an adjournment of the case.

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