Friday, 19 July

Court rules on Jakpa tape admissibility today

L-R: Richard Jakpa and Godfred Dame

The High Court in Accra will make a crucial ruling today, Thursday, June 13, on whether an audio recording involving the Attorney General and businessman Richard Jakpa will be admitted as evidence in the ongoing ambulance case.

This contentious issue emerged when lawyers for Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson sought to introduce the audio tape into evidence. 

The Attorney General opposed the motion, questioning the relevance and foundational basis of the recording.

Previously, the recording had been accepted and was instrumental in the trial judge's decision regarding a mistrial on June 6, 2024. Now, defence lawyers are reintroducing the tape, arguing that it is vital to the charges of causing financial loss to the state against the Attorney General.

Dr. Aziz Bamba, lead counsel for Dr. Forson, stressed that the 16-minute recording pertains to the agreement between the Ghanaian government and a subsequent Letter of Credit. 

Dr. Bamba claimed that the Attorney-General's actions, as captured in the recording, amounted to oppression of the accused, casting doubt on the integrity of the trial.

According to Dr. Bamba, the audio is significant as it reveals that the case may not have been pursued in good faith, pointing to procedural irregularities in the Attorney General's handling of the matter.

Conversely, the Attorney General argued against the recording's admission, maintaining that its relevance is inadequately supported. 

The AG referenced the trial judge's prior rejection of the mistrial application, which was largely based on the recording, to highlight its limited pertinence to the case.

Additionally, the AG contended that the recording does not address the core elements of the alleged financial loss to the state, thus failing to substantiate the charges against the accused.

Prosecutors echoed this stance, also accusing Mr Jakpa of violating the Attorney-General's privacy by recording their conversation without consent.

The court's decision on the Attorney General's objection will set the stage for the trial's continuation.