A justice of the High Court, Justice Paul Uuter Dery, wants ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and four others imprisoned for contempt of court.
He has filed multiple suits with the aim of blocking a video showing him allegedly taking bribe to compromise a case before him from airing.
The four others he wants imprisoned for contempt are the acting Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Samuel Frimpong; the Deputy Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Ernest Addo; the Chief Executive Officer of Starr FM, Mr Nathan Kwabena Anokye Adisi and the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah.
A motion on notice for committal for contempt, filed on the applicant’s behalf by his lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, at 14:06 GMT on Friday at the court’s registry is praying the court to imprison Anas and the four others for allegedly leaking a video of him (Justice Dery) allegedly taking bribe.
Affidavit in Support
An affidavit in support of the motion deposed by Justice Dery said he received a letter dated September 9, 2015, and found that an allegation of bribery has been levelled against him by Tigereye PI over a case he presided over whiles sitting at Fast Frack Court 3, titled: The Republic v. Kwame Dzato.
“That the letter from the Chief Justice’s office stated that his Excellency the President of Ghana forwarded Tigereye PI’s Petition to the Chief Justice’s office for her action as required under ACT 146 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which petition was accompanied by audio visual recordings.
"That the said audio visual recordings purportedly contained the evidence in support of the allegation of bribery levelled by Tigereye P I against me."
"That the Chief Justice relying on the said audio visual recordings and the transcript of the alleged misconduct requested that I respond to Tigereye P I’s allegations by the 14th of September, 2015.
"That before I could respond to the allegations levelled against me by Tigereye P I, Tigereyepi, through its Chief Executive Officer, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the 1st Respondent herein and also the Acting Editor-In-Chief of The New Crusading Guide Newspaper, caused to be published on various media platforms, transcripts of the audio visual recordings he has unlawfully procured in support of his bribery allegations against me.
He said the respondents had advertised the pending premiering of the said video and despite the multiple of suits he has filed.
According to the applicant, although, major newspapers and media platforms including that of the respondents had widely publicised his suits and interlocutory application all seeking to restrain the airing of the video, “the respondents herein continued to publish contents of the illegally procured audio visuals through their newspapers, media houses and online websites blatantly disregarding, undermining and prejudicing the authority of this Honourable Court.
"That I further caused my lawyers to write letters addressed to most of the leading media houses including The New Crusading Guide and Starr FM notifying them of the pending Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim as well as the pending application for Interlocutory Injunction."
That the letters from my lawyers also notified The New Crusading Guide and Starr FM that their actions of publishing the transcripts of the audio visual recordings on any media platforms and the intended public screening of the said audio visuals recordings will be prejudicial to my pending suit and same will be in contempt of court.”
That in spite of having knowledge of the effect of their actions on my pending case, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents have continued to publish transcripts of the said illegally and unlawfully procured audio visual recordings in their newspaper, personal Facebook pages and their websites.”
The applicant is also accusing Crusading Guide of publishing images and transcripts from the said video despite the pending suits and warning letter served on it.
“That the Respondents have also evinced a further intention of overreaching this Court by publishing the said audio visual recordings on international media platforms such as Aljazeera Television Network, and other social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp,” the affidavit noted.
It said the conduct of the respondents was “calculated to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect and disregard and to interfere in any way with the course of justice.
That the Respondents act of publishing the said transcripts and portions of the audio visual recordings seek to prejudice the fair trial of the case and that singular act amounts to contempt of Court.
That the respondents’ conduct is in bad faith, malicious and is prejudicial to the determination of the case before the court.”
It said the continuous leakage of the transcripts by the respondents of the intended screening at the AICC was calculated to “scandalize the court itself, or abusing my person and my right to fair trial, prejudice the public against me even before the cause is heard.”
According to the applicant, “the respondents are by their actions publishing materials, which prejudge the issues pending in my action and is likely to cause public prejudgment of my action before the court.”
The affidavit in support said “unless and until this honourable court convicts the respondents herein, they will continue to publish prejudicial articles in respect of the said case.
In the circumstance, I pray that this obvious disregard to the Court amounts to nothing more than contempt of Court of which the Respondents ought to be convicted and punished.”
Aside from suing the producers of the video, Tiger Eye P I, the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General, Justice Dery has filed another suit seeking to stop the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from using its venue to screen the said video on September 22 and 23, 2015.
His lawyer on September 16, 2015, issued a writ of summons directed at the Director of Estates and General Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Chief Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Manager of the AICC and the Attorney-General.
The video has been scheduled for screening at the AICC on September 22 and 23, 2015, but Mr Dery wants the screening to be halted until his case with the private investigation entity, owned by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was settled.
According to the applicant, he would suffer prejudice and irreparable damage if the respondents are not restrained and his suit succeeds in the long run.
Application for injunction
Meanwhile, an application for interim injunction filed by Justice Dery on September 15, 2015, is asking the Fast Track High Court to restrain Tiger Eye P I from airing the video.
He wants an injunction placed on the screening of the said video, which includes him allegedly taking bribe.
Other respondents in the substantive suit are the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General.
The applicant and 33 other judges, was alleged to have taken bribes to influence cases pending before them.
Anas, uncovered the rot in a two-year investigation.
Source: Daily Guide
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