Friday, November 13, 2009 (Page 3)
THE Human Rights Division of the High Court has set January 22, 2010 to determine whether or not Mr D.E.K. Daketse, a Circuit Court judge, can continue sitting on a fraud and forgery case instituted against two lawyers by the state.
The lawyers, Joseph Kwame Owusu Asamani and Ekow Amua-Sekyi, who are facing charges of forgery and fraud, have since sought an interlocutory order restraining the Circuit Court judge from hearing the criminal case until the final determination of the application currently before the Human Rights Court.
Moving a motion for an order of prohibition directed at the Circuit Court judge, counsel for the two lawyers, Mr James Agalga, accused the judge of making bias statements against his clients.
For instance, he said, the judge had on one occasion stated that the two lawyers were practising “animal farm” type of justice and that “the judge’s remarks showed he had preconceived views on the matter before him and if he is allowed to sit on the case, the applicants would not have a fair trial”.
To make matters worse, counsel argued, the judge went ahead to defy a High Court order which prohibited him from hearing the criminal case, which resulted in him being convicted of contempt.
According to counsel, the trial judge had on countless occasions exhibited open hatred for the two lawyers and openly made statements which were highly prejudicial.
Mr Agalga further stated that there was a clear likelihood of bias if Mr Daketsey was given the go-ahead to continue hearing the case against the two lawyers.
He, therefore, prayed the court to prohibit the trial judge from further sitting on the case, otherwise, “the administration of justice will be seriously marred and subjected to mockery and ridicule”.
In the substantive matter at the Circuit Court, Asamani and Amua-Sekyi are jointly charged with conspiracy, forging judicial service writ of summons and deed of assignment documents and uttering forged documents.
They were alleged to have forged the judgement of a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Ofori-Atta, compelling Mr Howard Eric Ewen, Managing Director of Keegan Resources, to issue a cheque for $850,000 to Asamani.
When Asamani received the money, Amua-Sekyi signed as witness.
The two, who have never appeared before the Circuit Court, have, through their counsel, denied any wrongdoing.