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11.01.2005 Crime & Punishment

Tsatsu's case adjourned to Friday

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Accra, Jan. 11, GNA - A Fast Track High Court (FTC) in Accra has fixed Friday, January 14 for mentioning of the case in which Tsatsu Tsikata, 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.

This is because the trial Judge, Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban, Appeal Court Judge, with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, is attending a workshop.

The accused is also charged with another count of intentionally misapplying public property, contrary to Section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Decree 1977 (SMCD140). He has denied the charges.

Tsatsu has been admitted to a 700 million-cedi self-recognisance bail.

All High Court Judges in the Southern Sector are attending a three-day training workshop on new High Court Rules that came into effect last Monday. They would consider, among other things, the country's criminal justice procedure, which needs to be reviewed to ensure the efficient and speedy delivery of justice. Civil procedures under the High Court rules have been revised and replaced with a new High Court (Civil Procedure), Rules, 2004 (C.I. 47).

The Defence Team - Professor E.V.O. Dankwa and Major R. S. Agbenotor (rtd) - under the instructions of their client, had earlier raised objection to a directive from the FTC to Tsastu to open his defence.

The Defence Team had argued that the FTC could not hear the case, while it had filed an application at the Supreme Court asking it to review its ruling on their submission of no case and stay of proceedings.

In March 2003, the FTC overruled the submission of no case filed by Tsatsu and ordered that he should open his defence in the case. Tsatsu then filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in November 2004, which was dismissed on the grounds that it lacked merit and, therefore, ordered him to go back to the FTC to open his defence in the case.

He filed an appeal to challenge the Appeal Court's ruling at the Supreme Court and this was also overruled.

The accused has since gone to the Supreme Court for a review, where he is seeking a relief from the Supreme Court to quash its earlier decision and order, and to uphold his submission of no case.

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