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General News of Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Source: Joy Online

Criticisms against Tsatsu unfair – Lawyer Abotsi

A senior law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Kofi Abotsi, says Tsatsu Tsikata should not be critisised for taking too long with his cross-examination without regards to the issues he is interrogating in his cross-examination.

The legal team for the Petitioners in the ongoing election fraud case says lawyer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, is to blame for the slow pace of the trial.

A member of the legal team representing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer and two other petitioners, Frank Davies, said Mr. Tsikata is stalling the process with his cross-examination which has lasted for more than a week.

He stated that "it is not the number of days that a lawyer cross-examines their witness that shows they are doing any good work”.

But Mr Abotsi believes “If we can ascertain that indeed the questions that have been asked are irrelevant or that those other questions have been disposed off in say affidavit evidence, or has actually been dealt with in other evidence, then of course the criticism may be valid or legitimate”.

Mr Abotsi explained on the Super Morning Show Monday “Cross-examination of a party is dependent on the relevant issue that are brought to be addressed and in so doing the Court does not impose any time frame”.

He said there is no specific time limitation on cross-examination.

He, however, indicated that the court reserves the right to caution a lawyer if it thinks a particular line of questioning is not relevant, or designed to delay a case.

“Justice must be fast and expeditious in order for justice and the best interest of the parties to be achieved, but in the end you don’t also compromise justice on the grounds of speed when you are actually...not allowing a party to fully make out his case,” Mr Abotsi said.

He observed the Supreme Court is faced with a very difficult case because it is having to balance several interests including the national interest, the ruling Government’s interest, the Petitioners’ and Respondents’ interest and so it dangerous to hasten proceedings.

Victor Kojogah Adawudu, a member of the NDC legal team has stated elsewhere it is in the interest of the government in power, as it is the Petitioners, to have this case dealt with as quickly as possible.

Kofi Abotsi is certain the court has so far done a good job to ensure the totality of all the issues are dealt with in a balanced manner.

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