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14.10.2003 General News

Supreme Court dismisses Yankey's application for bail

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Accra, Oct 14, GNA- The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an application brought before it by one of the three convicts in the Quality Grain case.

Throwing out the application, the five-member panel presided over by Mr Justice Williams Atuguba contended that since the Court of Appeal (CA) that heard the appeal properly directed itself, it was doubtful whether the SC had jurisdiction to hear the application.

Consequently, the court unanimously dismissed the application.

George Sipa Yankey, former Director at the Legal Section of the Private and Financial Institution Department of the Ministry of Finance was represented by Nana Adjei Ampofo.

After dismissing the application, which prayed the court to set aside a decision by the Court of Appeal to grant bail, counsel who also represented Kwame Peprah, former Minister of Finance, informed the court of his intention to withdraw a similar application filed on behalf of Peprah.

The Supreme Court obliged and granted the application.

On April 28 this year, an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC) presided over by Mr Justice Dixon Kwame Afreh, found the applicants, Yankey and Peprah and one other former Minister guilty of wilfully causing financial loss to the State.

They were given various jail terms by the Fast Track Court for their roles in the Quality Grain scandal that led to the loss of more than 20 million dollars to the State.

On Tuesday, May 26, an Accra High Court presided over by Mr Justice Yaw Appau dismissed a "Habeas Corpus" application filed by the three convicts against the Director of the Ghana Prisons Service. On the strength of the Habeas Corpus, a Latin term meaning, "You are to produce the body", the applicants sought to challenge their detention.

Dismissing the application, Mr Justice Appau stated that it lacked merit, because a competent court of jurisdiction convicted the three persons, and that their application was rather an appeal against their conviction and sentence.

Not satisfied with the High Court's ruling, Yankey and Peprah took the matter to the Court of Appeal where it was further dismissed. At the Court of Appeal, counsel argued that the trial judge misdirected himself when he caused a substantial injustice to the appellants by ignoring the fact that in the Cotton case which he relied on, the United States court convicted Miss Cotton for defrauding Ghana, and ordered her to refund 20 million dollars to the State. Counsel argued further that the charge of conspiracy against the convicts was not proved.

At the Supreme Court where the matter was finally contested by the two convicts, who were absent their applications sought to pray the court to set aside the decision by the Court of Appeal to grant them bail.

The other four panel members of the Court were Miss Justice Sophia Akuffo, Mr Justice Sammy Glenn Baddoo, Dr Justice Seth Twum and Professor Justice A. K. P. Kludze. 14 Oct 03

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