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MP Trial Adjourned
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Adamu Daramani Sakande
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The trial of Adamu Dramani Sakande, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central at an Accra High Court, in connection with perjury, was yesterday adjourned at the instance of the prosecution.

This was after Mrs. Merley Wood, a state attorney holding brief for Rexford Wiredu, Principal State prosecutor in the case, informed the judge, Justice Charles Quist that her colleague “is out of jurisdiction”.

She therefore prayed the judge to adjourn the case and it was subsequently adjourned to July 8, 2011. The MP was in court with his lawyers Messrs Yonni Kulendi and Egbert Faibille Jr.

At the last hearing, counsel for the accused prayed the court for a short while to enable them to study the ruling he gave on allowing the prosecution to bring a witness to testify in the case if the prosecution so wished.

Counsel for the MP told the court where the MP is being tried for perjury that they just received a copy of the ruling to study so they would need time to study it.

The judge, it would be recalled, a few weeks ago had ruled that it was wrong for the prosecution to have asked the MP to identify a document it brought from the National Security during cross-examination.

The ruling put to rest the legal wrangling by both the state and counsel for the accused person as to whether the MP should be made to identify a document addressed to the National Security Adviser from the United Kingdom which he was not privy to.

Lead counsel for the Bawku MP, Yonni Kulendi told journalists after the ruling that he would study the ruling and decide whether or not to appeal against the ruling by the judge on allowing the state to bring a witness to testify on the document they wanted the MP to be cross-examined on.

Mr. Kulendi expected the judge to give a ruling only on whether it was proper for the MP to be compelled to answer questions on the document, as that was the only issue before him.

Rexford Wiredu, the Principal State Attorney, who had requested that the MP identify the document while cross-examining him, explained that the document was a rebuttal of some of the documents tendered by the MP and so he should be made to identify them.

However, his lawyer, Yoni Kulendi, objected to the identification of the document marked as confidential with the letterhead of the National Security Coordinator, Lt Col (rtd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey and addressed to Director-General of Criminal Investigations Department, the Attorney-General and Inspector General of Police, on the grounds that it was not addressed to the MP.

According to Mr. Kulendi, the MP was not the author of the said document and therefore could not be asked to identify it under Section 60 and 136 of the Evidence Decree.

He noted that in the course of the trial, no evidence had been laid by the prosecution on the document, adding that his client had no personal knowledge of it.

Counsel for the MP observed that if the court permitted the identification of the document by the accused person and thereafter tendered, the defense team would have no opportunity of cross-examining Mr. Gbevlo-Lartey and the others, as well as those who are purported to have signed the attached correspondence between Ghana and the United Kingdom.

This would therefore occasion a substantial miscarriage of justice.

The judge agreed with counsel and said it was improper for the prosecution to have made that request; however, he said he would grant any request by the prosecution to call or recall a witness to rebut any doubt if the defense finished their case.

Source: Fidelia Achama/d-guide

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