The Deputy Attorney General has declared his support for the caution given by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, who is presiding over the trial of James Gyakye Quayson, the MP for Assin North.
Alfred Tuah Yeboah praised Justice Yanzuh’s judgment. He highlighted that it was past due for the cross-examination, which had been delayed since July 2022.
He further stated that the judge’s admonition is intended to ensure trial progress and to motivate Mr. Quayson’s legal team to take the required actions to promptly cross-examine the prosecution’s first witness.
“PW1 [Prosecution’s Witness 1] has been in the witness box since July 12, 2022, and so for over one year, a simple cross-examination that the counsel for the accused person said was going to use two hours to do, has taken us such a period.
“When we went to court, counsel for the accused had sent a letter to the effect that he was indisposed and was given a three-day excuse duty. And we know that the court will be going on vacation by July 31, so I made a point that we cannot have a witness in the box for three legal years and so the judge in her wisdom, said she will need the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness completed. And so for that matter, if the counsel of the accused does not show up, she may need the accused to do the cross-examination himself.”Alfred Afuah-Yeboah
The judge warned that the MP would be forced to conduct the cross-examination himself, if Mr. Quayson’s legal team is unable to question the prosecution’s first witness by Monday, July 31.
On Friday, July 28, the prosecution’s initial witness was supposed to have finished being cross-examined. However, on that particular day in court, Mr. Quayson’s attorneys were not present. Justin Teriwajah, the attorney on record, had written to the court to advise the judge of a three-day medical leave of absence that had been approved by his physician. The sitting judge rejected the letter’s request for an adjournment to a time following the legal break that began after July 31.
Comments On Case Not Prejudicial
KT Hammond, the Trade Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa, has stated that he made no disparaging remarks about James Gyakye Quayson’s trial, as the Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency.
Following remarks made by the Trade and Industry Minister during a media interview that were deemed contemptuous, Gyakye Quayson’s attorneys filed a contempt application.
According to reports, Mr. Hammond said the Assin North MP would experience the same fate as late former Bawku Central MP, Adamu Sakande, when comparing the Gyakye Quayson case to his.
However, Mr Hammond emphasized; “I am clear in my mind that I haven’t committed any contemptuous sin. I made a remark, the remark was in the context of precedence of decisions that have been made by the Supreme Court… And I don’t understand why anyone would want to take me to court except for the fact I am KT Hammond.”
The Trade Minister explained that if the remark had actually been made in that regard, he would have readily conceded to the accusations and offered an apologies.
However, the High Court in Accra has set October 19 for its decision on the contempt case brought against KT Hammond. Gyakye Quayson, the case’s complainant, had hoped to move the case on Friday, but it was instead postponed.
The parties involved in the case have been ordered by the court to submit their written addresses by August 31. The decision will be made when the parties meet again on October 19.