General News of Monday, 29 August 2016
Lawyer for dismissed High Court Judge, Justice Paul Uuter Dery, has confirmed his client’s intention to take an action against the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), for presenting the 21st Best Journalist Award to investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, at the Awards held on Saturday.
Anas’ work on the judiciary implicated Justice Dery and over thirty others in a massive bribery and corruption piece which won him the award over the weekend.
But the lawyer for the embattled high court judge, Nii Kpakpo Addo, told Citi News that the award rather celebrates unethical journalism.
He said his client will be formally registering his protest with the GJA.
Justice Derry had sued Anas in a bid to have his named cleared in the judicial corruption scandal.
Justice Dery’s lawyer explained that, they are against the award because the Supreme Court in February 2016 said Anas and his Tigereye PI firm “violated the 1992 constitution” in publishing “the videos they said contained the evidence to support the petition they had filed against my client and some other judges.”
“The Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana upheld that his entity had violated the constitution and therefore the actions were unlawful. If his entity has now been awarded the highest award of the Ghana Journalists Association, which is to epitomize excellence in journalism, it means that you have carried out your work with due process and due regard for the highest standard that you have in your profession. Then it means that the award is being used to celebrate an entity and an activity that has been declared to be unlawful by the Supreme Court of Ghana in respect of their conduct in airing the said videos whilst the impeachment processes were ongoing.”
“Secondly, we have ongoing cases in the high court and the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, a judgment is due on October 27 this year. We have ongoing cases at the high court which are seeking to challenge the legality of the acquisition of the so called evidence by the said entity which you have awarded,” he added.
The lawyer also alleged that, they have picked up information that Anas did not even put in an entry for the award.
“If you confer your highest award to an individual validating his activity which activities are the subject matter of ongoing legal challenges; then what are you trying to tell the court? That in your opinion the person did no wrong.
For you, the person’s activities and actions are without question and what is interesting is that from the information that we have ascertained from reliable sources within the GJA, it is clear that Mr. Anas never applied for the award. The obvious question is why did he not apply for the award if that is his biggest story since last year,” he questioned.