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Chief Justice reject petition to remove Judge from Ato Forson trial

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The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, has declined a request to remove the judge presiding over the case in which Minority Leader and former Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, and two others have been accused of allegedly causing €2.37 million financial loss to the state in an ambulance deal. 

The request was contained in a petition filed by Richard Jakpa, a private businessman standing trial with the minority leader.

The petition, which sought to remove the trial Judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe from presiding over the case alleged bias on her part as a result of an incident which occurred during one of the court’s sittings.

He alleged bias because the trial judge on June 20, 2023, issued a stern warning to him that it was the last time she would tolerate any disrespect from him and let him go home.

When the case came up for hearing today (July 27), Justice Asare-Botwe notified the parties in the case that the petition seeking the transfer of the case has been dealt with by the Chief Justice, and has been declined.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the minority leader have also filed two motions; one, the presiding judge should recuse herself and the other, the Court should release his travel passport to him.

The motions are expected to be heard by the trial judge later today.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame was in court to cross-examine Alex Mould, a former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and a defence witness of Dr Forson.

The other accused person in the case is Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health.

The three have pleaded not guilty to counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment to willfully cause financial loss to the state, contravention of the Public Procurement Act and intentionally misapplying public property.

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