Ato Forson files application for mistrial in ambulance procurement case

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Ato Forson files application for mistrial in ambulance procurement case

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the first accused person in the ongoing ambulance procurement trial, has applied for a mistrial. He cited recent development

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Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the first accused person in the ongoing ambulance procurement trial, has applied for a mistrial.

He cited recent developments involving a leaked telephone conversation between the third accused in the case, Richard Jakpa and Attorney-General, Godfred Dame.

A mistrial occurs when a jury is unable to reach a verdict and there must be a new trial with a new jury; or there is a serious procedural error or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial, and the judge adjourns the case without a decision on the merits and awards a new trial.

In his affidavit filed on Friday, May 31, Dr Ato Forson highlighted concerns regarding the leaked tape, which he believes demonstrates professional misconduct on the part of the AG.

These recordings have been submitted and annexed to the filed application.

Dr Ato Forson is urging the court to declare a mistrial in the interest of justice, emphasising the importance of administering justice and ensuring that it is perceived to be fair and impartial.

The Minority Leader argues that failure to order a mistrial in such circumstances, where there appears to be a blatant disregard for the rule of law and ethical standards of prosecution by none other than the Attorney-General, could severely undermine public confidence in the judicial process.

Background

Richard Jakpa, under cross-examination, revealed that the Attorney General had been contacting him at unusual hours to solicit testimony against the Minority Leader, Dr Ato Forson.

This revelation, strengthened by a 16-minute phone conversation between Mr Jakpa and the Attorney General, has sparked discussions among Ghanaians, with some persons calling for the resignation of Attorney General, Godfred Dame.

Dr Ato Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister and current Minority Leader, is currently on trial for his alleged involvement in the procurement of defective ambulances for Ghana. He is accused of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of 2.3 million Euros.

At a recent press conference, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) played a 16-minute tape allegedly featuring a conversation between the Attorney General and Jakpa.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has refuted the claims made in the audio, asserting that it has been “doctored and manipulated” with malicious intent.

However, the Attorney General has personally not commented on the tape, although his office has sought to downplay it, saying he will remain at post.

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