June 9, 2011

Justice Charles Quist, an Accra High Court judge, has ruled that it was wrong for the prosecution to have asked Adamu Daramani Sakande, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, to identify a document it brought from the National Security during a cross-examination.

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 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 were purported to have signed the attached correspondence between Ghana and the United Kingdom.

He added that this would 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.

The accused person, under further cross-examination by Mr. Wiredu, still denied being a British and Burkinabe citizen.

The prosecutor put it to him that all the documents he tendered in evidence to show that he had denounced his British Citizenship before he contested for the parliamentary seat were fake but the MP denied.

He also denied that he tendered those documents to throw dust in the eyes of the court.

The prosecutor, after this, said he had no further questions for the accused.

The judge therefore adjourned the case to June 17 for the defense to call in their next witness, with an order that the registrar furnish them with copies of his ruling.

Source: Daily Guide