Leaked audio in Ato Forson Ambulance proceedings: Court orders National Security to investigate audio source
Leaked audio in Ato Forson Ambulance proceedings: Court orders National Security to investigate audio source
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Court orders National Security to investigate source of audio recording of proceedings

The High Court hearing the ambulance case against the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and a businessman, has ordered National Security to take steps to investigate the source of an unsanctioned audio recording of parts of what transpired at the last sitting.

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This comes after the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Alfred Tuah Yeboah, made a complaint to the presiding judge about the audio recording.

Following the complaint, the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe met both the prosecution and defence lawyers in her chamber to ascertain the claim made by the Deputy A-G.

After meeting with lawyers from both sides, Justice Asare-Botwe cautioned all parties against recording the proceedings adding that should this happen again, she would proceed with the case with only the accused persons and their lawyers.

Background

Dr Forson and Jakpa have been accused of causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016.

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

Per the A-G’s facts accompanying the charge sheet, in 2009, while delivering the State of the Nation Address, the then President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, indicated that new ambulances would be purchased to expand the operations of the National Ambulance Service.

Jakpa, who is a local representative of Big Sea General Trading Limited, a company based in Dubai, subsequently approached the Ministry of Health with a proposal that he had arranged for finance from Stanbic Bank for the supply of 200 ambulances to the government.

Parliament approved the financing agreement between the government and Stanbic Bank.

According to the facts, on November 19, 2012, Dr Anemana wrote to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) seeking approval to engage Big Sea through single sourcing for the supply of the 200 ambulances.

They added that on August  7, 2014, Dr Forson wrote to the Bank of Ghana for letters of credit covering €3.95 million for the supply of 50 ambulances in favour of Big Sea.

The letters of credit were accordingly released to Big Sea. The facts said 30 ambulances were purchased at a sum of €2.37 million but all were found not to have met ambulance specifications and therefore “not fit for purpose”.

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