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28.04.2004 General News

FTC adjourns Tsikata's trial to May 26

By GNA

Accra, March 28, GNA- A Fast Track Court (FTC) in Accra on Wednesday adjourned to May 26, a case in which Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), is charged with wilfully causing financial loss of 2.3 billion cedis to the state.

Tsikata who is also charged with "intentionally misapplying public property, has denied the charges.

The court has admitted him to a 700 million-cedi self-recognisance bail.

When the case was called today, the FTC presided over by Mrs. Justice Henrietta Abban, Appeal Court Judge sitting as a High Court Judge, explained that "the court was adjourning the case, because the accused had sent an apology" to be absent.

Tsikata was to have opened his defence following the dismissal of his appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, challenging the FTC's rejection of a submission of no case.

Counsel for Tsikata, Professor E.N.O. Dankwa, then moved to a higher court for a substantive appeal for "stay of proceedings", to further challenge the Appeal Court's dismissal of his submission of no case.

Mrs. Justice Abban, at the court's sitting at the last adjourned date, March 23, pointed out that it was proper for the lower court to stay proceedings, till the determination of the appeal which was pending before a higher court and therefore, adjourned proceedings to today. Hence the adjournment was also to enable the accused pursue an appeal at the higher court.

Sometime in March 2003, the FTC over-ruled the submission of no case and ordered that the GNPC boss should open his defence in the case. Tsikata then filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in November last year, which was dismissed on the grounds that it lacked merit and was therefore, ordered to go back to the FTC, to open his defence.

Professor Dankwa said his client has filed another appeal to challenge the Appeal Court's ruling at a higher court to quash that decision and order, and also to uphold his submission of "no case."

The Prosecution Team is made up of Ms. Gloria Akuffo, Deputy Attorney-General, Mr. Osafo Sampong, Director of Public Prosecutions and Mr. Augustines Obuor, Assistant State Attorney.

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