TsatsuÂ’s lawyer: Judge was wrong

justice_henrrieta_abban.jpgProfessor E.O.V. Dankwa, counsel for incarcerated Tsatsu Tsikata,
former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation,
(GNPC) says he is surprised and shocked at the decision of Justice
Henrietta Abban to proceed with her judgement while his client had not
closed his case.

He
says apart from the bad precedent the speed with which the court
delivered its judgement in the trial of Tsatsu for misapplying State
property and also for wilfully causing financial loss to the State has
set, the counsel said there was no notice whatsoever from the court
that Wednesday, June 18, was judgement day.

“I was surprised and
shocked that judgement has been given when we were waiting for an
important witness to come and give evidence for us,” he told Joy News’
Matilda Asante at midday.

Professor Dankwa, who was abroad to
seek medical attention and therefore could not attend court with his
client, said the judgement should not have been given at all because
the case was not completed and the Supreme Court was waiting to make a
ruling on an aspect of the case.

He said they had gone to the
Supreme Court on June 11 in their bid to get the trial Fast Track High
Court to invite the International Finance Corporation to testify in
Tsatsu’s favour, where the court asked them to return on June 26, and
all his expectation was that the court would take further action only
after the Supreme Court decision. He insisted that it was absolutely
false that the court or anyone had communicated the judgement date to
them.

He said the IFC’s evidence would have supported his
client’s case that there was no intent on the part of Tsatsu to cause
any financial loss to the State.

Tsatsu was found guilty of
three counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the State and
another of misapplying State property. He received a five-year jail
term on each, however the sentences are to run concurrently.