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NewsDon't interrupt the court's work - Ambulance case judge tells lawyers

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Don’t interrupt the court’s work – Ambulance case judge tells lawyers

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, who is presiding over the high-profile financial crime case involving Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson, has urged all parties involved to assist in expediting the proceedings.

In response to a notification from Mr Forson’s legal representatives regarding his occasional absence from court due to legislative duties, the judge expressed reluctance, likening Forson’s position to that of a senior housemaster.

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Reported by the state-owned Daily Graphic, the judge questioned Forson’s inability to attend court, drawing a parallel with a hypothetical scenario where a senior housemaster would prioritize other responsibilities over court proceedings.

While acknowledging her respect for Forson’s role as Minority Leader, the judge emphasized that Forson is a crucial defendant in the case, not merely a witness.

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She urged cooperation in swiftly concluding the case to allow everyone to attend to their respective duties.

The report further detailed the judge’s discussion on the impact of Richard Jakpa’s decision to change legal representation during the trial, which disrupted plans to conclude proceedings by May 2024.

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The Minority Caucus in Parliament has pledged to accompany Forson to court whenever necessary, potentially affecting parliamentary proceedings.

Forson and Jakpa face criminal charges related to the procurement of ambulances during the John Evans Atta Mills administration, with Forson serving as Deputy Minister of Finance at the time and Jakpa representing the contracted company.

The court is scheduled to rule on June 13 regarding the admissibility of a viral audio tape allegedly involving the Attorney-General discussing matters pertaining to the case with Jakpa.

Both defendants are accused of causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in the ambulance procurement deal.

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