Trial: Ato Forson and others granted bail

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Cassiel Ato Forson, Dep. Minister of Finance
Cassiel Ato Forson

An Accra High Court has granted Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, a Former Deputy Minister of Finance, a self-recognisance bail of GHC3 million for allegedly wilfully causing financial loss of 2,370,000 euros to the State.

Dr Forson, who pleaded not guilty, is also facing an additional charge of “Intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD 140).”

The Court also granted Dr Sylvester Anemana, a Former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, a bail of one million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a director.
Mr Richard Dzakpa, a Businessman, who is the third accused person, was also granted bail of five million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.

Dr Anemana, also pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime namely – wilfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to section 20(1) and 179 A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), while Mr Dzakpa pleaded not guilty to the charge of “Contravention of the Public Procumbent Act, 2003, contrary to section 92 (2) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).”

The accused persons have been ordered to deposit their passports at the Court Registry by 2pm on Wednesday January 19, 2022.

The Prosecution has also been directed to file and serve accused persons and their lawyers with disclosures by February 8, 2022.

Earlier, Mr Godfred Dame Yeboah, the Attorney General, told the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, that the prosecution was not opposed to the bail.

He said Dr Forson was a public officer, adding, “I suggest that he is given a self-reconnaissance bail.”

The A-G said for the others he prayed that they were given a bail that commiserated with the offence.
  
He said the prosecution intended to call five witnesses.

Justice Asare-Botwe said already the parties had limited days, saying,
“I am not ready to work as if my work is secondary to someone’s work. Let us come to a gentleman agreement and comply with each other.”
 
The Judge said: “Should any lawyer dream of failing to appear for the trial,I will report you to General Legal Council.”

The case has been adjourned to February 15, 2022.

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