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HomeNewsProsecution’s evidence falls short, acquit and discharge me – Ato Forson tells...

Prosecution’s evidence falls short, acquit and discharge me – Ato Forson tells court over ambulance case

Former Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson is urging the High Court in Accra to acquit and discharge him in the case in which he is standing trial for allegedly supplying the State with vehicles unworthy to be used as ambulances in 2015.

According to him, the evidence adduced by the four prosecution witnesses including the current Minister for Health Kweku Agyeman Manu falls short of the standard proof that warrants that he is called upon to answer to charges.

Dr. Forson together with Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health and Richard Dzakpa are standing trial for five charges including wilfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of over 2 million euros.

The prosecution led by the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame has called four witnesses to close their case and has held that sufficient evidence has been adduced by their witnesses and a case has been made for the accused persons to open their defence.

In a written submission filed through his lawyers on March 16, 2023, Dr Ato Forson said no sufficient evidence has been adduced to establish a prima facie case against him.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, who is currently the Minority Leader in Parliament is urging the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe to acquit and discharge him.

The Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency has been charged with two (2) counts, being: wilfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to section 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29); and intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1(2) of the Public Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD 140).

He has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The trial commenced on May 31 last year when the prosecution opened its case and after calling five(5) witnesses closed its case.

Submission of no case to answer

In his written submission to the court through his lawyers led by Dr Abdul Aziz Basit Bamba on the submission of no case to answer stated that “we demonstrate that the prosecution at the close of its case has woefully failed to adduce sufficient evidence, which should compel A1 (Dr Forson) to open his defence.”

The lawyers stated further that “We state that the weight and quality of evidence adduced by the prosecution fall short of establishing a prima facie case against A1 under section 173 of Act 30.

Consequently, they said, “we pray this Honourable Court to acquit and discharge A1 on both counts.”

Summary of arguments

In their summary of evidence to the court, Dr Forson states that “this Honourable Court under paragraph 5(2)(a) of the Practice Direction ( Disclosures and Case Management in Criminal Proceedings) 2018 is required to render a ‘reasoned decision’ on A1’s submission of no case to answer.”

The lawyers state that “We maintain that, in a reasoned decision, a court has a duty to clearly set out the legal principles and the evidence upon the decision is based.”

 

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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