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General News of Thursday, 11 August 2016

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Montie 3 petitioners are ignorant - Dr Henry Lartey

Presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Dr. Henry Lartey has stated that those supporting the petition to pardon the Montie trio are ignorant of law and order.

Dr. Henry Lartey expressed shock at the ministers and deputies who signed the petition, stating that, they lack the true meaning of freedom of speech and its limits.

"Section 19 (3) of the International Civil and Political Rights tells you where your freedom stops, and if they don't understand that, they should go and study it."

The presidential aspirant speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem said, it makes no sense for anyone to call on the president to pardon the trio after they had threatened the lives of judges. The four months handed the trio, he posited, is lenient.

In his view, the trio needed to have been given a maximum of 10 years. President Mahama, he explained, does not have the power to pardon the trio, rather, his powers as entrenched in Article 72 is only meant to pardon reformed prisoners and those wrongfully imprisoned, he added.

"They've gone against international treaties... to sit on radio and threaten the lives of judges is against international treaties. They are also lucky that no one killed the judges; because that can be a trigger and incite other people to misbehave... discipline is very important. We don't want discipline out of the window. And so, those forcing the president to pardon the trio are not really understanding law and order.

"They're doing the wrong thing...this can never happen in an advanced country. You don't just get up and say what you want. The petitioners don't understand the law, democracy and politics...The trio wronged the law and deserved to have gone in for 10 years and not four months.''

The Supreme Court handed a four-month prison sentence to the host of the Pampaso political show on Accra-based Montie FM, Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, and the two panellists, Alistair Nelson, and Godwin Ako Gunn, for threatening to kill judges of the Supreme Court during a radio discussion.

The three were also fined Ghc30,000 with each of them paying Ghc10,000. They were all found guilty of contempt charges on July 27, 2016. The Presiding judge, Sophia Akuffo, reading the sentences said the two panellists wilfully attacked the Chief Justice and lowered the authority of the court by insisting that they will not accept its judgment on a controversial matter of the voter’s register.

She said they also callously reminded the court of the gruesome murder of three High Court judges more than 30 years ago. She pointed out that there is an element of criminality in their utterances which the Attorney-General should have noticed and acted upon.

The president has handed over the petition sent to him to the Council of State for their consideration.

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