28.07.2004 General News

Supreme Court to rule on Tsikata's appeal

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Accra, July 28, GNA - The Supreme Court will on October 27 decide on an appeal filed by Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal that he should open his defence at an Accra Fast Track Court in the case in which he is charged with causing financial loss to the State.

On November 27, 2003, the Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Tsikata's appeal against the FTC ruling that he had a case to answer and, therefore, should open his defence.

Mr Tsikata is charged with wilfully causing financial loss of 2.3 billion cedis to the State and intentionally misapplying public property. He has denied the charges.

The FTC, presided over by Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban, Appeal Court Judge sitting on the case as a High Court Judge, has admitted him to a 700 million-cedi self-recognisance bail.

Professor E.V.O. Dankwa, who represented Mr Tsikata, told the Court that he had filed his written submissions and would not like to add anything to it.

Mr Osafo Sampong, Director for Public Prosecution (DPP), also told the Court he had also filed his response and would not like to add anything to it.

The five-member panel, Mr Justice William Atuguba (Presiding), Mr Justice S.A. Brobbey, Mrs Georgina Woode, Ms Sophia Akuffo and Professor Modibo Ocran, therefore, adjourned the matter to October 27.

According to Mr Tsikata's appeal the Court of Appeal erred in holding that the failure of the trial judge to give reasons for her decision was legitimate.

"The judgement of the Court of Appeal was contradictory in claiming on the one hand that the Court was not to make findings of fact and yet proceeding to make selective findings of facts and not taking into account the evidence as a whole."

The appellant said the Court of Appeal also erred in failing to appreciate that neither on the charge sheet nor in evidence before the trial court was there any showing whatever of the financial loss being incurred by the State.

The DPP in its response said he supported the ruling of the trial judge and described the judgement of the Court of Appeal as "faultless". He submitted that the trial judge was only bound to give reasons after a complete trial and not in a ruling after a submission of "no case".

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