There was a fierce clash between Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame and experienced legal practitioner Tsatsu Tsikata in court on Wednesday.
Mr Tsikata hit the AG, accusing him of breaching the ethics of the legal profession.
“The supplementary affidavit is indicating, clearly a pattern of behaviour and utterances by an Attorney General who seeks to prejudice criminal matters before the court.
“The statement he made, in reference to Adamu Sakande for instance shows that clearly”, Mr. Tsikata said.
Mr. Tsikata who is lead counsel for the NDC’s James Gyakye Quayson submitted to the court documents detailing what he says is evidence of prejudicial comments made by the Attorney General.
One such comment is the AG indicating that James Gyakye Quayson will suffer the same fate as Adamu Sakande. A story published on myjoyonline.com was attached as one of the exhibits.
The AG had told JoyNews that the James Gyakye Quayson case is very similar to that of Sakande.
Mr Dame urged the court to reject the said documents. He argued that he made those comments in a civil matter which had no bearing on the criminal case at hand.
“It contains absolutely unconnected and irrelevant material to the matters before the court. The instant proceedings arise out of a simple criminal trial.
“The affidavit raises matters bothering an already decided Supreme Court matter, comments they claim I made arising out of the Supreme Court ruling.
“That matter is not before the court and has clearly been adjudicated.”
Mr. Tsikata disagreed.
He insisted 57 years since he started his journey to becoming a lawyer he had never encountered an Attorney General who behaves in such a manner.
“I have never seen an Attorney General make insulting remarks about a person in this manner. We want this court to control this process such that it is not abused.
“It is our professional obligation to bring it to your attention. When the AG is acting in a manner that is prejudicing the court. We must bring it to your attention.
“Plain propaganda, those comments are just meant to be prejudicial. Mere citizens will be held in contempt if they had said same. If we can’t bring this to your attention. I don’t know what we can do.” He stated.
The AG had a response
“I am surprised that in all his years, he does not understand what is relevant. What is the relevance of those comments to the issue at hand on whether the case should be heard on a day-to-day basis or not?”
Trial Judge Mary Yanzuh urged the lawyers to exercise restraint. She pointed out that they are all officers of the court and should desist from abusive language.
She admitted the said documents into evidence pointing out that they were relevant because of the allegation of prejudice that had been raised.
The two nonetheless had a go at each other yet again at the tail end of proceedings.
The court had indicated it will deliver its ruling on whether the case should be put on hold to allow Mr Quayson to campaign on Friday.
Mr Tsikata urged the court to permit the NDC Assin North candidate to miss proceedings on that day.
The AG disagreed, pointing out that an accused must be present during his trial except he refuses to show up or conducts himself in a manner that makes continuation of proceedings impracticable.
“If he is saying he won’t come, he should refuse to do so and we will ask for a warrant to arrest him”, Mr Dame said.
Mr Tsikata had a brief reply
“Clearly, my lady, this is beneath me, so I won’t respond”. He stated.
The court granted the request for James Quayson to miss proceedings on Friday.
Source : adomonline