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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Attorney General accused of poor job in BNI's defeat

Betty Mould Iddrisu, Attorney General
Betty Mould Iddrisu, Attorney General

Head of Legal Resources Edward Amuzu has blamed the Attorney General’s Department for what appears to be an embarrassing ruling against the Bureau of National Investigations.

Excited with the decision by the court, Mr. Amuzu said “it was obvious” verdict was going to be handed against the BNI and was surprised the AG and her team of experienced lawyers defended this case in the first place.

The High Court on Tuesday ruled that the BNI has no mandate to seize passports of citizens without recourse to the courts.

The investigative body had seized the passport belonging to the ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Akwasi Osei Adjei, citing an ongoing investigation into his alleged malfeasance into rice importations from India last year, forcing the ex-minister to seek reliefs from the law court.

The Attorney General Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu had expressed her disappointment with the court’s verdict, but Edward Amuzu said the defeat was always coming.

“I am sad to the extent that the Attorney General’s Office and her team of lawyers will allow these cases to go this far for the court to make this pronouncement because I think it was too obvious that the courts will reach the decisions that they have reached,” he said.

He said the AG must rather muster the powers at its disposal to defend the fundamental rights and liberties of the citizen than to fight against it.

“I will be highly surprised with the caliber of people in the AG’s office and with the powers they have been clothed with will not take quick decisions which will protect human rights, but will rather do this sort of thing and go and defend these cases in court,” he added.

Meanwhile another defeat against the BNI looms after the Deputy Attorney General failed to mount a defence for the investigative body, in a case involving Sammy Crabbe, Greater Accra Chairman of the New Patriotic Party.

He had sued the BNI for what he says was the infringement of his fundamental right to counsel when the investigative body invited him for questioning on his role in operations of Ghana Airlines.

But Lawyers of the BNI filed an affidavit against the prosecution, alleging that Mr. Crabbe was granted access to his lawyers contrary to claims.

Describing, what happened in the court on Wednesday, counsel for the prosecution, Kwame Boateng said they had lined up witnesses to substantiate their claims, only for the Deputy Attorney General to chicken out.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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