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General News of Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Source: XYZ

We support any punishment of the SC on contemnors - Lead Lawyers


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All the Lead Counsel for the parties involved in the election petition case have jointly made a public statement supporting any disciplinary action the Supreme Court pronounced on ‘the gang of three’ who were summoned by the Court for making alleged contemptuous comments on the matter.

The three are Managing Editor of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper Ken Kuranchie who is also a member of the main opposition New Patriotic Party and two Communication team members of the governing National Democratic Congress, Kweku Boahen and Stephen Atubiga.

Ken Kuranchie’s paper’s front page comment concerning what, in the paper’s view, were contempt culprits whom the Court had not taken notice of, is what brought him into the Bench’s eye view and ear shot.

His publication followed the Court’s invitation and reprimand of a Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Sammy Awuku, for describing the Court as “hypocritical and selective” in its reprimands of makers and publishers of contemptuous comments.

Ken Kuranchie has since confessed that he was a bit shaken by the invitation.

In the case of Stephen Atubiga, - who has since his invitation, beaten a hasty retreat and eaten back his words as well as already rendered tonnes of unqualified apology to the Court – his crime was that he vowed on radio that President John Mahama will never hand over power to the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, even if the Court overturned the results of last year’s presidential poll.

His fellow Communication team Member of the party’s Ashanti branch is also reported to have made equally contemptuous comments.

Ahead of the Court’s action against them today, the respondents’ Lead Counsel – Tsatsu Tsikata, Tony Lithur, Quashie-Idun joined the Lead Counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Philip Addison to pledge support for the Court in its quest to ensure discipline and decorum as far as public commentary on the matter is concerned.

The four Lawyers addressed Journalists after the Court broke for lunch.

However, Editor of the Daily Searchlight, Mr Ken Kuranchie, was handed a ten-day jail term for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court while Mr Stephen Atubiga was given a three-day imprisonment for the same offence. Kweku Boahen was let go by the Court as his offence was deemed as a misreporting by the Court

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