Attorney-General denies allegations of impropriety in ambulance purchase trial

Attorney-General denies allegations of impropriety in ambulance purchase trial

Mr , the and Minister of Justice, has denied allegations by Richard Jakpa, the third accused in the ambulance purchase trial, that he has sought his help to incriminate Cassiel Ato Baah Forson.

Jakpa alleged during court proceedings on Thursday that the A-G had on several occasions engaged him at odd hours to help him build up a case against the Minority Leader and Former Deputy Finance, saying, he had evidence to back his claim.

The allegation has been described by the National Democratic Congress () in a press statement as an attempt by Mr Yeboah Dame and the Government to undermine the justice process.

Forson and Jakpa have been accused of causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

However, the Attorney-General in a media statement rejected the claims and denied the allegations and insinuations of the NDC.

He urged the public to disregard the allegations, adding that “the Attorney-General remains focused on a zealous prosecution of the case.”

The statement said the Republic had throughout the trial, relied solely on the record of the impugned transaction – being “the purchase of ordinary vans purporting to be ambulances, to sustain its case against the accused persons”.

It noted that this record existed before January 2022 – when the case was commenced – and was duly filed in Court by the Prosecution before the commencement of the trial.

“The Republic has never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons in the matter, in which it has already succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against all the accused persons,” the statement said.

“Neither the Attorney-General nor any officer from the Office of the Attorney-General has approached any of the accused persons with the view to obtaining evidence from them.

“It is rather the third accused who, by various letters dated 27th April 2023, 16th May 2023, 30th May 2023 and 12th June 2023, has proposed to the Republic through the Attorney-General to engage in plea bargaining or plea negotiations.”

This plea bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted by the Attorney-General.

It said though the law on plea bargaining passed by permitted a prosecutor to negotiate with an accused person after a plea proposal had been made, the Attorney-General had not engaged the third accused person to give false testimony in the matter.

“The Attorney-General has also come under enormous pressure from all manner of persons for him to discontinue the prosecution of the 1st accused person, Cassiel , but has not yielded. “The Attorney-General has video evidence of the first accused, person, Cassiel Ato Forson, coming to meet him and to plead with him to discontinue the prosecution. This, the Attorney-General has refused to do.”

The statement said the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice considered the latest allegation levelled against the Attorney-General as part of a grand scheme by the NDC to put more pressure on him to discontinue the prosecution or to divert attention from the real issues regarding the actions of the accused persons, which have caused enormous financial loss to the State.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson , the National Chairman of the NDC in the NDC statement, said the Party would stop at nothing in pursuing the matter to its logical conclusion and ensuring that justice was served.

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