Justice Paul Dery sues Anas's Tiger Eye, A-G, CJ over judicial bribery
One of the High Court judges cited in the judicial bribery scandal has fired the first salvo demanding a litany of reliefs.
Justice Paul Uuter Dery is one of 12 High Court captured on video allegedly receiving bribes from undercover journalists posing as family and friends of suspects and litigants.
The conduct of the judges has become the subject of an inquiry by the Judicial Council with impeachment lurking around the corner.
But they are not going down without a fight.
In a writ filed at the Fast Track division of the High Court, Justice Dery is seeking a total of 17 reliefs, topmost being “A declaration that the 1st Defendant (Tiger Eye PI) obtained the contents of the audio-visual recording unlawfully.”
The video, which details a scandal many say has shaken the foundation of the country’s judiciary, is scheduled to be aired on September 22, 2015.
But Justice Dery is seeking “A declaration that the intended public screening of the contents of the audio-visual recordings to the public by the 1st Defendant is prejudicial to the Plaintiff's right to a fair hearing.
The writ is further seeking:
“A declaration that the 1st Defendant's act of secretly recording private discussions with the Plaintiff constituted a violation of the Plaintiff's right to privacy;
"A declaration that any purported immunity granted by the 3rd Defendant (Attorney-General) to the 1st Defendant, its Chief Executive Officer, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, its privies, agents and assigns is unlawful and of no effect;
"A declaration that the 2nd Defendant (Chief Justice), her privies, agents, assigns and successors cannot rely on the contents of the illegally or unlawfully procured audio-visual recordings;
"A declaration that the 2nd Defendant (Chief Justice) cannot arrive at a fair determination as to whether a prima facie case has been established against the Plaintiff by relying on the content of the Petition filed by the 1st Defendant;
"An order restraining the 2nd Defendant, her privies, agents and assigns from publishing the contents of the illegally and unlawfully procured audio visual
“An order restraining the 1 sl Defendant, its privies and assigns from carrying out their intended public screening of the said illegally and unlawfully procured
audio visual recordings at the Accra International Conference Centre on the 22nd and 23rd of September, 2015;
“An order restraining the 2nd Defendant from relying on the contents of the illegally or unlawfully procured audio-visual recordings;
“A perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant, its privies, assigns and whosoever from carrying out any public screening of the said illegally and
unlawfully procured audio-visual recordings;
“A perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant, its privies, assigns and whosoever from ever publishing or causing to be published the content of the
said illegally and unlawfully procured audio visual recordings through any media platform howsoever described including social media;
“A perpetual injunction restraining the instant 2nd Defendant, her privies, assigns and whosoever from carrying out any form of enquiry however or whatsoever
described against the Plaintiff founded on the contents of the petition or the audio visual recordings submitted by the 1st Defendant.
"General damages against the 1 sl Defendant for the invasion of the plaintiff's privacy."
Other High Court judges affected by this scandal are expected to file similar writs.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has promised to “swiftly and decisively apply appropriate sanctions” if the judges implicated in a bribery scandal are found guilty.
She was at pains to stress that bad judges, lawyers and court clerks cannot be allowed to derail the efforts of those zealous to protect the integrity of the judiciary.
Justice Wood told lawyers gathered at an annual conference of the Ghana Bar Association in Kumasi, the allegations against the judges have left a “heavy dark shadow on the legal community” and “deepened long held suspicions” in the public about corruption in the judiciary.