The Court of Appeal will on December 1, 2010 rule on the appeal by two persons accused of causing financial loss to the state with regard to the sale of Ghana Airways and the operations of Ghana International Airline (GIA).
The two, Dr Richard Anane, a former Minister of Transport, and Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, are seeking from the Court of Appeal reliefs over the Fast-Track High Court’s refusal to refer their request for relevant documents on the case to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Counsel for Dr Richard Anane, Mr Joshua Nimako, made this known at yesterday’s sitting of the Fast-Track High Court and prayed the court to adjourn the case till after that ruling.
Their lawyers filed the appeal against the Financial Division of the Fast-Track High Court, which, on July 16, 2010, refused to refer the matter to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the issues raised by the accused persons did not border on the Constitution.
Those charged alongside the two are Kwadwo Mpiani, a former Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs; Sammy Crabbe, a former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Prof. George Gyan-Baffour.
They variously face 22 counts of causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to deceive public officers, deceit of public officer, misappropriation of public funds, opening an offshore account without authorisation from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), conspiracy to commit stealing and stealing.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court, presided over by Mr Justice Bright Mensah, has granted them self-recognisance bail.
The court, presided over by Mr Bright Mensah, consequently adjourned the case to December 20, 2010.
Dr Anane and Dr Akoto Osei had requested for relevant documents to aid their defence under Article 19 (2e) of the 1992 Constitution, which states that, “a person charged with a criminal offence shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence”.
But the state opposed the application on the grounds that sections 163 and 181 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1960 (Act 30) “do not allow accused persons who are standing trial summarily to have access to such documents before they are tendered in evidence as exhibits.”
Giving its ruling on July 16, 2010, the court upheld the state’s submissions and accordingly ordered the accused persons to present themselves for trial.