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NewsHigh Court obtains warrant for video trial of Dr Ato Forson, others...


High Court obtains warrant for video trial of Dr Ato Forson, others accused over alleged financial loss to state

A High Court in Accra has taken a significant step in ensuring the continuity of the trial involving Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, and two others accused of causing financial loss to the state by obtaining a warrant from the Chief Justice to establish a video link for the proceedings.

This development follows concerns about the health condition of one of the accused, Dr Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health. Dr. Anemana has secured permission to undergo a medical procedure in India, prompting the court to explore alternative methods to prevent trial delays.

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Presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting as an additional High Court Judge, the court opted for the establishment of a video link to accommodate Dr. Anemana’s participation in the trial remotely.

Dr. Anemana, along with Dr Ato Forson and private businessman, Richard Jakpa, faces charges of wilfully causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health. Questions have arisen regarding whether the purchased vehicles met the requirements outlined in the approved purchase agreement by parliament.

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The trial, which had experienced multiple adjournments due to Dr. Anemana’s ill health, now seeks to ensure his active participation in the proceedings. The trial judge emphasized the importance of Dr. Anemana’s mental presence for the trial to proceed effectively.

With the establishment of the video link, Dr. Anemana will join the proceedings virtually, allowing for the continuation of the trial without further delays.

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The case has been adjourned to February 20, 2024, with additional dates scheduled for the continuation of the trial. Dr. Anemana’s passport was released by the court on January 23 to facilitate his travel to India for medical treatment, as requested by his lawyer through an affidavit.

The release of the passport, held by the court’s registry as part of the bail conditions granted to the accused at the onset of the case, underscores the court’s commitment to ensuring the accused’s access to necessary medical care while also ensuring the progression of the trial.

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