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27.10.2008 Social News

Supreme Court failed to respond to main argument – Free Tsastu Campaign

By gna

The Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign (FTTC) on Monday said the reasons filed by the Supreme Court on October 24 for dismissing Tsikata's application to quash judgement of Justice Henrietta Abban failed to respond to the main legal arguments put forward by the applicant.

The group said the basic facts of the case which Tsikata took to the Supreme Court sought intervention against what he called a “desecration of justice by Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban”.

Mr Kwesi Pratt, a member of the FTTC, said this at a press conference in response to the reasons given by the Supreme Court on October 24.

The Court, in giving reasons for the rejection of Tsiakata's application said the adjournments of the trial judge during the trial were a simple matter of the judge exercising her discretion to manage cases before her as effectively as she deemed necessary.

Thus on June 18 and on each return date, the applicant ought to reasonably anticipate the possibility of the judge declining to grant any further adjournments and going ahead to deliver her judgement because at all material times the matter was entirely within the discretion of the judge.

Mr Pratt said the trial judge on various occasions during the trial had adjourned the matter to wait for the outcome of Tsikata's appeal on the IFC issue to “avoid a mistrial and miscarriage of justice”.

He said the question which the court evaded in the reasons for dismissing Tsikata's application was that Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban having decided that, “to avoid a mistrial or a miscarriage of justice” the could wait for the appeal process and the same person on June 18, 2008 without any advance notice to the accused or his counsel suddenly announced that she was rescinding her earlier decision.

Mr Pratt said for the Supreme Court to simply say that the “matter was entirely within the discretion of the learned judge” was to ignore the constitutional requirement of Article 296(a) for the judge to act fairly and candidly to the accused.

He also disagreed with the Supreme Court's view that the trail judge did not exercise her discretion capriciously, arbitrarily or otherwise unlawfully, in the absence of applicant's counsel notwithstanding.

He said the Supreme Court by its reasons had done what Mr Tsikata cautioned against in his submissions and elevated the desecration of justice to the highest pinnacle of the judicial hierarchy.

“This marks a very low point in the performance of the Court in this our constitutional era,” Mr Pratt added.

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