Professor E.O.V. Dankwah, counsel for incarcerated Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, (GNPC) says he is surprised and shocked at the decision of Justice Henrietta Abban to proceed with her judgement while his client had not closed his case.
He says apart from the bad precedent the speed with which the court delivered its judgement in the trial of Tsatsu for misapplying State property and also for wilfully causing financial loss to the State has set, the counsel said there was no notice whatsoever from the court that Wednesday, June 18, was judgement day.
“I was surprised and shocked that judgement has been given when we were waiting for an important witness to come and give evidence for us,” he told Joy News' Matilda Asante at midday.
Professor Dankwah, who was abroad to seek medical attention and therefore could not attend court with his client, said the judgement should not have been given at all because the case was not completed and the Supreme Court was waiting to make a ruling on an aspect of the case.
He said they had gone to the Supreme Court on June 11 in their bid to get the trial Fast Track High Court to invite the International Finance Corporation to testify in Tsatsu's favour, where the court asked them to return on June 26, and all his expectation was that the court would take further action only after the Supreme Court decision. He insisted that it was absolutely false that the court or anyone had communicated the judgement date to them.
He said the IFC's evidence would have supported his client's case that there was no intent on the part of Tsatsu to cause any financial loss to the State.
Tsatsu was found guilty of three counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the State and another of misapplying State property. He received a five-year jail term on each, however the sentences are to run concurrently.
Author: Isaac Yeboah