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03.03.2005 General News

Judicial Service denies accusations of inaction

By GNA

Accra, March 3, GNA - The Judicial Service on Thursday denied accusations of inaction with regard to the prosecution of criminals saying it was the responsibility of the Attorney-General Department and the Police.

"It is not true that the Judiciary is delaying the prosecution of cases," a statement from the Public Relations Department of the Judicial Service said.

The statement said the Judiciary had made available to the Office of the Attorney-General six Fast Track Courts in Accra in addition to the regular High Courts and Circuit Courts.

"The Chief Justice has also directed all courts in the country to hear criminal cases at all times throughout the year. Criminal Assizes, which used to run for a specific period of the year is now running throughout the year with no break."

The statement said two panels of the Court of Appeal had been provided for criminal appeals everyday.

"The allegation, therefore, against the Judiciary that the courts are delaying in the prosecution of cases is not correct. Where cases are adjourned, this arises because of the inability of the prosecution to produce witnesses," the Judicial Service said.

It said the request for the creation of Special Fast Track Courts for criminal cases was not necessary for now since there were already in existence Fast Track Courts dealing with such cases.

It said the new Commercial Court, which would be inaugurated on March 4, would be empowered to try cases dealing with commercial fraud. The Judicial Service said it was ready to handle all cases everyday for 24 hours.

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