Asabees' case to be held in camera
The contempt action instituted by the former Information Minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, and his immediate family against the Director of BNI and two other officials of the Bureau is to be held in camera by the Accra Human Rights court.
This followed a prayer by the Attorney General's (A-G's) Department that it wanted the matter to be held in chambers, which was upheld by the court after meeting the parties in the judge's chambers yesterday.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to September 15, 2009.
The former minister, his wife, Zuleika Jennifer Lorwiah, Nana Yaw Asamoah Boateng and Andrew Asamoah Boateng instituted the contempt action against the three respondents, Yaw Donkor, Josephine Gandawiri, Stephen Abrokwa, and the A-G for preventing them from travelling outside the country on two occasions without recourse to a court order.
A state Attorney, Ms Helen Kwawukume, told the court that a process had been filed for the matter to be held in chambers and since the process had not been served on the applicant, the matter was stood down for sometime.
When counsel for the applicant was served and the parties emerged from the chambers, journalists learnt that the application had been upheld based on the provisions in the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, C.I. 47.
That was because the matter bordered on security issues.
The contempt action was instituted when the four applicants were denied travelling outside the country on June 14, 2009 without any court order or warrant following which they filed an application seeking an injunction to restrain the BNI from further preventing them from travelling without a court order.
While the application was pending, they claimed the BNI again disregarded the action and prevented them from travelling at a later date.
The matter had been embroiled in some confusion when on August 18, 2009, there was controversy over direct proof of service of the contempt summons on the Director of BNI and the two other officials of the Bureau.
While the records of the court and the applicants' lawyer indicated that the three respondents, Yaw Donkor, Josephine Gandawiri and Stephen Abrokwa, had been served with the contempt summons, the A-G's Department said otherwise.
Similarly, the records of proof of service of the court and that of the applicants' lawyer did not tally as the two records indicated names of different bailiffs with different dates of serving the contemnors.
Nene Amegatcher, counsel for the applicants, told the court, presided over by Justice V.P. Dery, that although there had been a proof of service on the contemnors since August 6, they had not received any application of opposition.