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Opinions of Sunday, 25 October 2015

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Cross examining Anas in a mask is not just period!!

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

When I hinted about emerging revolution, many are those whose minds were lingering on bloodshed and other such things that happen in some countries undergoing changes. God forbid, I am a Ghanaian who would wish Ghana well at all times. With regard to this blessed nation, we have gone past the days of bloody upheavals. That will not happen Insha Allah. What we are experiencing are unusual developments that require careful handling by our leaders in the executive, legislature and judiciary.
Currently due to the sheer adventure of one man who is a journalist cum lawyer, (Anas Aremeyaw Anas) and his Tigereye PI, many Judges who were expected to adjudicate over criminal and civil cases are themselves being investigated and if possible would be prosecuted with chances of being jailed, suspended or shown the exit from the judiciary. They have their backs to the wall because they were allegedly caught collecting bribes as shown on video in discharge of their duties. The punishments awaiting them are huge and could ruin them and their future forever if they are not set free. Perhaps we need to credit Anas for his subtle approach to getting them to accept bribes to decide on some case. This goes to show that perhaps as happen in many sectors it has been their behavior even as they determine cases in court.
Committees have been set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the cases against the judges. However the judiciary ought to tread cautiously as the judges have already been exposed through public screening of their activities in a public center in Accra and on the social media. By those acts, currently the judges concerned have been pronounced guilty by the public. While their cases are being investigated by the judicial panels set up by the chief justice the chief prosecution witness in the cases Aremiyao Anas insists that he wants to be cross examined with a mask on his face. Lawyers of the accused judges concerned on the other hand are also insisting on getting Anas to remove his mask before the process of cross examination can take place.
I seem to agree with the lawyers because it would be wrong for them to cross examine a faceless prosecution witness and his gang of witnesses. If the judiciary insists in allowing Anas to maintain the face cover, a bad precedent would be set in the judiciary to give room for some other adventurers to move round the country to claim they have got some people on video collecting bribes. The Chief Justice would have no choice than to grant the request of these men to help in prosecuting those men caught on the video. My experiences in court proceedings indicate that criminal cases are determined thoroughly thorough trials to be able to nail accused persons beyond all reasonable doubt. Since Anas is not the only person working within his outfit it would only be fair for the panels looking into the cases against the Judges to allow the prosecution witnesses to be identified as true human beings who enticed the judges to collect bribes. For that matter Anas and his colleagues must be forced to remove their masks before they are cross examined. Anything short of this would amount to injustice being meted out to the accused judges.
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EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
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