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15.12.2005 Crime & Punishment

Tsatsu's case takes five-week adjournment

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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - The case in which Tsatsu Tsikata, Former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), is being tried for allegedly causing financial loss to the State, was on Thursday adjourned to January 19, 2006. The Fast Track High Court hearing the case did not sit on Thursday, but the two parties in the matter, that is, the Prosecution and the Defence, agreed on the date.

At the Court's last sitting on December 9, Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban, the trial judge, subpoenaed the Country Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to come and give evidence on Thursday. The Court's order followed a request by Tsatsu asking the Country Director to produce documents promoted by the African Project Development Facility (APDF), which borders on the viability of the Valley Farms Project from 1987 to 1990.

Tsatsu, who has been accused of causing the loss of 2.3 billion cedis to the State, has also indicated to the Court that he would call one other witness from the United Kingdom. The case for the Prosecution is that he allegedly used GNPC to guarantee a loan facility for the Valley Farms Project in 1991. Five years later, GNPC, the guarantor, was compelled to pay back the loan when Valley Farms defaulted.

The Prosecution alleges that he ordered that the money be taken from GNPC's coffers and invested in the Valley Farms Project. Tsatsu faces an additional charge of misapplying public funds to the tune of 20 million cedis. Tsatsu has denied both charges and is currently on bail in the sum of 700 million cedis in his own recognisance. Professor Emmanuel Victor Oware Dankwa is defending him.

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