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Monday, May 23, 2022

A-G Thrown Out

Array

Betty Mould-IddrissuTHE COURT of Appeal yesterday unanimously upheld the decision of an Accra Human Rights Court that a contempt application against Yaw Donkor, the Director Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), and two others should be heard in an open court.

This decision is against the wish of the Attorney-General, who wanted the case to be heard in camera because the personalities involved are security officials.

The court, presided over by Justice Henrietta Abban, Justice G.M Quaye and Justice E.K.Ayebi, sustained the decision by Justice U.P.Dery that the BNI is not more special than the other security agencies such as the military and the police, and as a result dismissed the A-G’s application for stay of the high court decision.

The Appeal Court has subsequently ordered the BNI to go back to the High Court to answer the contempt charge.

The state, represented by Mrs. Helen Kwawukume, lost the application to have the case heard in camera at the High Court and sought the intervention of the Court of Appeal for a stay of proceedings, which has also failed.

The former Minister for Information, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, and his family, including his wife and his two sons, initiated the contempt application against the BNI officials for preventing them from travelling.

The BNI officers, without an arrest warrant, stopped the family as they were about to board a flight to the United Kingdom even though no criminal charges had been preferred against them.  

Mrs. Kwawukume had applied for the stay of proceedings because the contemnors were BNI officials who could not testify in open court for security reason.

Nene Amegatcher, counsel for Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, popularly called Asabee, also argued that the trial judge did not err by asking that the case be heard in open court, therefore, the BNI Director and the two others who failed to appear in court although they had been ordered to had not shown any respect for the court and should thus be arrested and brought to court.

By Mary Anane

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