The third accused person in the Ato Forson trial, Richard Jakpa has expressed optimism that he will be freed based on the evidence before the court.

He told journalists in court on Tuesday, June 4 that “I am here seeking justice.”

Asked whether anything other than walking free will be an injustice? he answered, “I cannot decide that I am walking free, it is her leadership who will decide based upon evidence that is before her, the evidence will lead to that and I know she is going to hold fidelity to the law, that is what is expected of her so I don’t have any issue at all.”

Richard Jakpa further answered why he did not submit the audio recording he made against Attorney-General Godfred Dame to the court.

He said his lawyer knows the court process and has his strategy hence he cannot dictate how the case should be handled.

“I am not a lawyer, my lawyer knows his strategy and he understands the court processes more than I do so he so doing what is required of him, he has his own strategy, I cannot dictate to him on his strategy,” he told journalists in court on Tuesday June 4.

Further explaining why he secretly recorded a private conversation he had with Dame, Jakpa argued that when the conversation is leading to the commission of a crime, it can no longer qualify to be private hence his decision to record it without the consent of the A-G.

“He is prosecuting innocent people so who is disingenuous? private conversations, when it is a conversation that leads to committing a crime it can no longer be private, it becomes a crime against the state, so it can no longer be private. so that private claim is neither here nor there,” Jakpa told journalists in court on Tuesday, June 4.

Richard Jakpa further told the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and all other persons claiming the audio that he secretly made against the Attorney-General had been doctored to bring the original tape.

In his view, the tape that he released which was played by the National Chairman of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia at a press conference has not been recorded.

“They are saying it is a doctored tape, I didn’t say that so they should bring the original; . They should tender the original to the court,” he said when asked for his response on the claim that the tape was doctored.

Jakpa had accused Attorney-General Godfred Dame of influencing him to support his case against Ato Forson’s trial.

The Minority Leader Dr. Ato Forson, Sylvester Anemana as well as private businessman, Richard Jakpa, are standing trial for willfully causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

The state has, however, discontinued the case against Sylvester Anemana.

It is recalled that during court proceedings on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Mr Jakpa fumed at the Attorney-General for accusing him of defending Ato Forson, in his testimony.

The businessman, who was under cross-examination by counsel for the Minority Leader, had earlier been warned by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe to be direct in his responses rather than going around it and wasting the Court’s time.

Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame, reacting to the judge’s caution, accused Richard Jakpa of defending the Minority Leader.

This triggered the third accused, who retorted that the Attorney-General appeared pained because he had engaged him to help the state make a case against Dr Cassiel Ato Forson

“The A-G has on several occasions engaged me at odd hours to help him make a case against A1 and I have evidence for that.. If he pushes me, I will open the Pandora’s box. I don’t understand why the A-G will accuse me of defending A1 when I’m here to defend myself,” Jakpa fumed in court.

However, the A-G’s department said that the Republic has never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons.

The Deputy A-G Alfred Tuah-Yeboah said this while revealing that Richard Jakpa, initiated plea bargaining through several requests to the state through the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame Yeboah.

The A-G said the plea-bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted. Tuah-Yeboah further stated that Mr Jakpa repeatedly requested to enter plea negotiations with the state.

In a statement issued last Thursday Mr Tuah-Yeboah, it emphasised that the state has not in any way engaged any of the accused persons to help the prosecution.

“The Republic has never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons in the matter, in which it has already succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against all the accused persons. Neither the Attorney-General nor any officer from the Office of the Attorney-General has approached any of the accused persons with the view to obtaining evidence from them.

“It is rather the third accused who, by various letters dated 27th April, 2023, 16th May, 2023, 30th May, 2023 and 12th June, 2023, has proposed to the Republic through the Attorney-General to engage in plea bargaining or plea negotiations. This plea bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted by the Attorney-General,” excerpts of the A-G’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the A-G said it has video evidence of the first accused, Minority Leader Ato Forson, to plead with the A-G to discontinue the case.

“The Attorney-General has video evidence of the first accused, person, Cassiel Ato Forson, coming to meet him and to plead with him to discontinue the prosecution. This, the Attorney-General has refused to do.”

Source: Blackgh.com

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