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Statement by New Patriotic Party

Comment: CAUSING FINANCIAL LOSS/BAD LAW

Author:
LAWFELLAS
Date:
2010-04-08 13:48:29
Comment to:
Statement by New Patriotic Party


Causing financial loss to the state has been a bad law right from the beginning.
The law is too vague and unreasonably over broad. The elements for prosecution under this law are not not very clear. Nobody knows what kind of conduct a government official must engage in or what kind of business decision he must take on behalf of the government will result in causing financial loss to the state.Legislative bodies such as parliament pass the laws and judges are supposed to interpret and apply the law. Where there are no clear guidelines for interpretation and application of a particular law judges can look at the legislative history for the intent and purpose of that particular law. Even though, there might not have been clear guidelines regarding "causing financial loss to the state", one can safely assume that the law was intended to prevent public officials from causing financial loss to the state in order to gain personal benefit. "TO GAIN PERSONAL BENEFIT" should be the catch phrase. Although the law actually uses the phrase "WILLFULLY CAUSING FINANCIAL LOSS TO THE STATE" both late Justice Afreh and Justice Abban misapplied the law by not insisting on the government to prove the element of willfulness. INTENT and WILLFULNESS have different standards of proof under the law. WILLFULNESS needs a much higher standard. It means that the Defendant knew or had a reason to know that his action or act was bound to cause particular result while INTENT can be presumed just by mere commission of the act itself. There is no presumption for WILLFULNESS. It ought to be proven as an element of the crime. I do not think Kwame Peprah and the rest of the Quality Grain defendants were willful. I followed the trial and the element of willfulness was not established by the prosecution. That's why the late Justice Afreh agonized over the covictions taking note none of the defendants benefited personally. If anything at all, they were just executing a cabinet decision. In Tsikata's case the same mistakes were made in the application of the law. Tsikata made a bad business judgment or decision and the government chose to criminalize it. The problem I had with the NPP was that there good lawyers such as Nana Akuffo that I admire so much but they all failed to use their good legal reasoning to stop the prosecutions. Now it appears Prof. Mills is towing the same path. Two wrongs don't make a right. I hope parliament will repeal the law or else the Supreme Court should strike down as too vague, overly broad and thus unconstitutional.
Robert A. Arhin, Esq.

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04-08 02:00
DON`T CARE !!!
04-08 02:00
 
 
 
CAUSING FINANCIAL LOSS/BAD LAW
LAWFELLAS
04-08 13:48