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General News of Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Independent Prosecutor likely to stay in office for 7-years - Deputy Attorney General

The new Independent Prosecutor to be appointed by the Nana Akufo-Addo led government is likely to have a seven-year non-renewable tenure in office.

Deputy Attorney General Joseph Dendiok Kpenka who disclosed this to Joy News believes the seven year tenure is enough guarantee for the person to be able to secure convictions for persons deemed to have misappropriated public funds.

Government has begun a stakeholder engagement that will lead to the appointment of the first independent prosecutor, at least in the Fourth Republic.

A proposed draft bill for the setting up of the office of the independent prosecutor was discussed Tuesday for stakeholders to make their inputs.

The setting up of the office was a major campaign issue in the 2016 elections with the then opposition party promising to appoint an independent prosecutor to oversee all prosecutions of corrupt public officials.

Prosecutions of public officials in the past have been greeted with allegations of witch-hunting.

The then candidate Akufo-Addo hoped to divorce political prosecutions from the government in power by appointing an independent prosecutor.

Having won the elections pressure is mounting on the government to appoint the prosecutor to begin prosecutions of past and present government officials who will be deemed to have acted in a corrupt manner.

Though the appoint is important, another key issue of concern is the security of tenure to be given the new prosecutor if appointed.

Deputy Attorney General Joseph Dendiok Kpenka says the seven year tenure is appropriate.

“The very fundamental thing that we all looking at is the security of tenure of the special prosecutor. Unlike the Attorney and Minister of Justice who is hired and fired at the pleasure of the president, this will not be the case.

“The person is appointed for a period of seven years and within that seven years unless there is anything he has done contrary to what he is supposed to do, in which case processes such as the removal of a Superior Court of Justice will be triggered for the removal of the person of office, he cannot be hired and fired at the pleasure of the president.

“…With the issue of the security of tenure it will be a spectacular guarantee for the person to be able to perform his functions without any fear of removal or intimidation from any person,” he said.

Mr Joseph Kpenka also hinted with the new bill the prosecutor will be able to confiscate the properties of public officials deemed to have acquired their properties through fraudulent means.