AG denies seeking cooperation to secure a conviction of Dr Ato Forson

By Morkporkpor Anku

Accra, May 23, GNA- The Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice has denied the allegations by Richard Japka that it desired his cooperation to secure a conviction of Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.

Mr Jakpa is the third accused person in the trial involving Dr Forson, a former Ministry of Finance, accused of causing financial loss to the State in the purchase of Ambulances.

A statement issued in Accra by Alfred Tuah Yeboah, the Deputy Attorney General, said the Office’s attention had been drawn to media commentary by persons associated with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on an allegation made by the third accused person, Richard Jakpa, during proceedings in court on May 23, 2024.

It said the Republic had throughout the trial, relied solely on the record of the impugned transaction, i.e. the purchase of ordinary vans purporting to be ambulances, to sustain its case against the accused persons.

The statement said this record existed before January, 2022 (when the case was commenced) and was duly filed in Court by the prosecution before the commencement of the trial.

It said the Republic had never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons in the matter, in which it had already succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against all the accused persons.

Neither the Attorney-General nor any officer from the Office of the Attorney-General had approached any of the accused persons with the view to obtaining evidence from them.

The statement said it was rather the third accused who, by various letters dated April 27, 2023, May 16, 2023, May 30, 2023 and June 12, 2023, had proposed to the Republic through the Attorney-General to engage in plea bargaining or plea negotiations.

“This plea bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted by the Attorney-General,” it added.

It said even though the law on plea bargaining passed by Parliament permited a prosecutor to negotiate with an accused person after a plea proposal had been made, the Attorney-General had not engaged the third accused person to give false testimony in the matter.

The statement said the Attorney-General had also come under enormous pressure from all manner of persons for him to discontinue the prosecution of Dr Forson, but had not yielded.

The Attorney-General had video evidence of Dr Forson, coming to meet him and to plead with him to discontinue the prosecution, this, the Attorney-General had refused to do.

The Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice said it considered the latest allegation levelled against the Attorney-General as part of a grand scheme by the NDC to put more pressure on him to discontinue the prosecution or to divert attention from the real issues regarding the actions of the accused persons which had caused enormous financial loss to the State.

The statement, therefore entreated the public to disregard the allegations, adding that the Attorney-General remained focused on a zealous prosecution of the case.