Ghana

Assin North MP trial: Case to continue in absence of lawyers

Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh presiding over the trial of James Gyakye Quayson, Assin North MP, at the High Court, has warned that she will ask the MP to continue and end the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Richard Takyi-Mensah, on Monday, if his lawyers fail to turn up.

Last Friday, lawyers of the ac­cused were expected to conclude cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, but were, however, not present at court.

The lead counsel, Justin Teri­wajah, had notified the court of a three-day medical excuse given to him by his doctor and requested for the case to be adjourned to either October or November.

He explained that his client, Mr Quayson, will not be available during the legal break as he will be out of the jurisdiction for medical attention.

Justine Teriwajah also indi­cated that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, another counsel for the MP, will also not be available within the same period.

Based on that, Justine Teri­wajah requested for the case scheduled for last Friday to be adjourned to a period after the legal break, which will end in the first week of October.

Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tuah Yeboah, agreed to Mr Teriwajah request for adjournment on Friday on his medical condition, but opposed the request for the date to be scheduled for a period after the legal break.

He notified the court that agreeing with the defence will be unfair to the prosecution, and indicated that the witness gave his evidence in chief on July 12, 2022, and it’s been well over a year and prayed the court to rath­er adjourn the case to Monday, July 31.

“This case started in January 2022. PW1 gave evidence on July 12, 2022. It’s been one year, 16 days since PW1 mounted the wit­ness box. In view of this, I like to pray that this matter is adjourned to Monday subject to my lady’s convenience to have cross-exam­ination of PW1 completed,” Mr Yeboah prayed the court.

He urged the court that “in the event that Monday is not convenient, we will urge that within the vacation subject to my lady obtaining the required war­rant from the Chief Justice, this matter be adjourned for contin­uation of cross-examination of PW1. It will be in the interest of justice and fairness if PW1 is not made to mount the witness box in the next legal year.”

Mr Yeboah indicated that Mr­ Quayson could be made to join proceedings virtually if out of the jurisdiction of the country, and explained that Mr Tsikata’s absence was of no relevance because he only held brief for Justine Teriwajah.

Mr Quayson urged the court to grant the request of his lawyers to enable him attend to medical care since its being three years that he has been going through stress.

Justice Yanzuh, however, de­clined the request and adjourned the case to Monday, July 31.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU