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Attorney General on the recent acquittal of Tagor & Alhaji Abass
 
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30-Jul-2009  
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The attention of the Attorney General's office has been drawn to the huge public debate provoked by the acquittal and discharge of Messrs Kwabena Amaning a.k.a Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abass by the Appeal Court following their conviction in 2007 for narcotic offences.

The Attorney General’s office is in the process of advising itself on the next steps and the way forward in the aftermath of the judgment. It will be recalled that the case originated during the New Patriotic Party’s administration. The prosecution of the substantive case was initiated by the then Attorney General based on the recommendations of the Justice Georgina Wood Committee.

A cursory look at the basis for the acquittal and discharge of the two indicate that it is imperative to critically assess the entire process that led to the prosecution and subsequent conviction of Kwabena Amaning a.k.a and Alhaji Abass.

The Appeal Court judgment mentions possible violations of individual liberties as the basis for the acquittal stating the trial was flawed in as much as the tape recording, which was the prosecution's major piece of evidence, did not directly implicate or incriminate Kwabena Amaning and Abass.

The Appeals Court also raised questions about the quality of the investigations into the MV Benjamin saga and the loss of 77 parcels of cocaine as well as investigations that followed the appearance of the tape recording at the home of ACP Kofi Boakye. The Attorney General's Office will consider these issues as it seeks to bring an objective conclusion to this matter.

We respect the judgment of Ghanaian Courts and especially appreciate the detailed arguments contained in the Appeals Court judgment. We shall study these in depth since it will form the basis of our decision on whether to appeal the ruling or not.

It is the NDC government’s primary aim to ensure that every citizen of Ghana is given a fair hearing in matters of criminal prosecution and this office will strive to maintain due process.

It is important to note that the narcotics trade is of particular concern to Ghanaians. Government therefore has the primary responsibility to ensure that due process and the most stringent means are employed in investigation and prosecution of all suspects.
Criminal elements, particularly self-confessed drug barons should not be allowed to walk our streets freely. Should this happen, it will send the wrong message particularly to our youth who are their unwitting targets.

The Attorney General is determined to ensure that Ghana complies with best practice in terms of investigation and prosecution of cases involving narcotics. We will consider critically the issue of wealth acquisition vis-a-vis the payment of taxes as a deterrent to those hiding behind the "cloak" of business to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth. Ghana lives among the comity of nations and we cannot allow this country to deteriorate into a haven for criminals which might ward off potential investors.


Mrs. Betty MOULD-IDDRISU
ATTORNEY GENERAL & MINISTER FOR JUSTICE
 
 
 
 
 

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