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October 3, 2023
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Two suits hit Gyakye Quayson criminal trial, including appeal at apex court

James Gyakye Quayson
James Gyakye Quayson

Lawyers for the embattled Member of Parliament-elect for Assin North are at the Court of Appeal, challenging the decision of an Accra High Court to dismiss an application to have hearing of his criminal case varied.

The High Court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh on June 23, affirmed its June 16 order that the trial of James Gyakye Quayson of the National Democratic Congress would be heard on daily basis starting from July 4, 2023.

According to the court, “Adjournments are at the discretion of the court and not the convenience of parties. The order of this court was clearly in line with the law.

“Nowhere was it demonstrated that the order was contrary to law.”

But the lawyers of Gyakye Quayson in an interlocutory appeal filed on June 27 at the Court of Appeal said, the court “erred in law when it failed to appreciate that the exercise of its discretion on 16th June 2023 in respect of the grant of adjournments violated the provisions of article 296(a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution as did the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by the Attorney-General.”

The ground of appeal also argued that the High Court failed to give due attention to important considerations such as constitutional rights of their client in exercising his discretion.

The lawyers also challenged the decision of the court that the allegation of prejudicial comments made by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, was not relevant to the case.

Justice Yanzuh had ruled that, “The only new information is the alleged prejudicial comments made by the A-G. These assertions are not relevant for me to review my decision.

“Fair trial is against undue delay. It is in the interest of justice that trials are not unduly delayed.”

But Gyakye Quayson’s lawyers maintained in the application for appeal that “prejudicial statements made by the prosecutor, the Attorney-General, seriously affect the fairness of the trial”.

They contended that the court had initially ruled that the supplementary affidavit which provided evidence on the prejudiced case was relevant and admitted it in evidence, “but now changed its position with no legal basis”.

Meanwhile, the lawyers are also expected to file another application at the High Court for stay of proceedings, pending the outcome of the interlocutory appeal at the apex court.

The application would be filed on June 29, 2023, Newstitbits.com understands.

The criminal trial of Mr. Gyakye Quayson was last adjourned to Thursday, June 29 but day-to-day proceedings are expected to continue on Tuesday, July 4.

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