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Ambulance case: Prosecution of Ato Forson just a gamble – Speaker – Myjoyonline

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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has described the prosecution of the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson in the ongoing ambulance case trial as ‘persecution’.
According to him, this is a gamble that the government may succeed or may not.
Even though the Speaker does not support the breaching of the Ghanaian laws, he wants the laws to be applied in a fair manner and not targeted at political opponents.
Mr Bagbin made these comments when he visited the family of the late former Majority Leader, Felix Kwasi Owusu-Adjepong to commiserate with them on Thursday, October 19.
“The Minority Leader, unfortunately, is being persecuted so on a number of these occasions he can’t be with us because he is appearing in court, as of now, he is in court being tried. It is not that we don’t want the rule of law to apply, we all want it to apply, but where prosecution is just a gamble, ‘I may win or I may not win, but let me do it’, I will not prescribe that for any politician because as a leader you always have to take the risk, you could get it right, you could get it catastrophically wrong.”
“Could you be prosecuted because of that? Then there will be tribulation, nobody will have the courage to come out boldly and take decisions where things are really hard.”
“These are some of the things that we have to take on board as we continue to work together in Ghana. It happens all over the world, it is not only in Ghana, these things happen worldwide, you can go to the UK and, the US, and they don’t go into prosecution, there are other ways of handling these things. He has been absent the day we were going to President Kufuor’s place he was in court, and today too he is in court.”
Meanwhile, the former Finance Minister Seth Terkper appeared in court on Thursday, October 19 to testify on behalf of the accused persons.
He told the Economic and Financial Court in Accra that he fully authorised his then Deputy, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, to write to the Bank of Ghana, requesting Letters of Credit to be set up in favour of Big Sea General Trading Ltd of Dubai, for the supply of 30 ambulances.
Mr Terkper, who testified in the case, told the Court that the authorisation for the accused to request for the establishment of the Letters of Credit (LCs) was given at a special management meeting he chaired at the Finance Ministry.
He said he gave the directive following the receipt of a legal opinion from the Attorney General and the Ministry’s legal department to ensure the execution of a contract between the Government of Ghana and Big Sea for the supply of 200 ambulances to avert the payment of judgement debt if Big Sea sued the government due to lengthy delays and breaches of the contract.
He said claims by the current Attorney General that Dr Ato Forson caused the LCs to be set up without due cause and authorization were untrue.
Background
Dr Ato Forson and two others; former director of the Ministry of Health, Sylvester Anemana and businessman Richard Jakpa, are on trial for allegedly causing financial loss in the purchase of some ambulances during his time as Deputy Finance Minister.
The Attorney General contends the state has lost €2.37 million due to the purchase of the ambulances which turned out to be defective. All three persons have pleaded not guilty.
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