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27.06.2008 General News

Tsatsu files appeal against ruling

By The Statesman
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Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, who is serving a 5-year jail term for willfully causing financial loss to the state and misapplying public funds, has appealed to the Supreme Court to quash the judgment of the Fast Track High Court that sentenced him.

Tsikata has also filed a motion at the Supreme Court to arrest its judgment on whether the International Finance Corporation has immunity from the processes of the courts, something he had continuously insisted on, and pointed out that failure to get the IFC to testify "will occasion a miscarriage of justice."

The Supreme Court, which was presided by Justice Atuguba and had Justices Allan Brobbey, Sophia Adinyira, Julius Ansah, S K Asiamah as members, was expected to pass its judgment on the matter Wednesday. The Court of Appeal and the Fast Track High Court had already ruled that the IFC has immunity from the processes of the courts.

Wednesday in court, Tsikata said his motion was to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to quash the judgment of the Fast Track High Court, which he described as a "desecration of justice". He cited an occasion when the motion to arrest the judgment of the court was used before Justice Ansah by the Director of Public Prosecution in a similar circumstance when the latter requested it in the trial of 'The Republic versus Tsatsu Tsikata'.

He said the DPP in that case, brought the motion on the grounds that the trial procedures needed a second look and the Supreme Court granted it. He further pointed out to the court that the importance of his application was that it related to his sentence.

The Supreme Court however, was of the view that the said motion had not been laid before it.

Responding to it, the Attorney General, Joe Ghartey, told the court that his outfit had not been served, and argued that the Supreme Court is a court of records. He said the matter was one which the State has interest in.

In his motion paper, Tsikata had argued that the trial judge, Justice Henrietta Abban, acted without jurisdiction in reaching her decision in infringement of his Constitutional rights to be represented by himself or by counsel of his own choice.

He asserted that by compelling him to proceed with his application in the absence of his counsel, the trial judge discriminated against him. He said the trial judge exercised her discretionary powers arbitrarily, capriciously and biased by resentment, prejudice and personal dislike.

The motion paper stated that the decision of Justice Abban to strike out the application for further evidence was taken contrary to her duty to be fair and candid under Article 296 of the Constitution, and was an error on the face of the record.

He was of the view that Justice Abban had predetermined the outcome of the application even before it came before her, as she was determined to read a judgment to convict him and had her judgment with her at a time when the application was pending.

The AG is to be served but meanwhile, the case has been adjourned indefinitely.

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