General News of Friday, 13 March 2015
A former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights Administrative Justice(CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short, is unsure attempts by the Attorney General’s Department to appeal the acquittal and discharge of Alfred Woyome will succeed.
The presiding judge, Justice John Ajet-Nasam, acquitted and discharged Woyome after the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to prosecute the case.
He questioned why the prosecution failed to present key witnesses – Betty Mould-Iddrisu and Ebo Barton Oduro among others, who were Attorney General and deputy respectively, when the judgment debt was paid.
The Attorney General and Ministry of Justice has, however, stated that it will appeal the ruling.
Speaking in an interview with Citi FM, the former CHRAJ Boss said the appeal will not succeed if witnesses who are supposed to give “material evidence” are not called by the court.
“The appeals court will only have to rely on the evidence that was adduced from the trail so the chances of success in my view are quite remote,” he added.
Justice Emile Short also believes the Attorney General’s Department can also function effectively and independently if it is decoupled from the ministry of justice.
“So long as you have the present situation, it is almost impossible to really expect the Attorney General to be able to prosecute corruption effectively; he or she will be in a dilemma and I think this Woyome case raises the issue again in a very significant way and emphasizes the importance of getting an independent prosecutor.”
“When I talk about an independent prosecutor, I mean not somebody who will be appointed in consultation with the Council of State but somebody who will be appointed with the participation of civil society groups and somebody who will not be susceptible to any influence or control of the Executive,” Emile Short further explained.