Bagbin: Prosecution of Ato Forson just a political gamble
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has raised concerns over what he describes as the persecution of the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.
Dr. Forson is standing trial with two others for counts of causing financial loss to the state in the purchase of 50 faulty ambulances.
The case against the Minority Leader is that he requested the letters of credit which formed the basis for the payment of the ambulances to the tune of €2.3 million without authorization, a claim he has denied.
During a visit to the spouse and family of the late former Majority Leader in Parliament, Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Speaker Bagbin said the prosecution of the Minority Leader is an act of political persecution.
“The Minority Leader is being persecuted,” Bagbin said, adding “On a number of occasions, he has been unable to join us in Parliament because he is appearing in court. As I speak to you, he is 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”
On Thursday, Seth Terkper testified in favour of Dr Ato Forson, explaining that contrary to claims by the state, Dr. Forson acted on his express approval.
In his witness statement, Seth Terkper noted, “For the avoidance of doubt, I state again that, I as the then Minister of Finance, authorized A1 (Dr. Ato Forson) to request the Bank of Ghana to set up the LC (Letters of Credit) with the sole objective e of avoiding potential financial liability for the Government”.
The Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame, however, during cross-examination inquired from the witness to point to exhibited documents that prove that he indeed gave authorization to Dr. Ato Forson.
But Mr. Seth Terkper explained that the authorization followed advice from the Attorney General’s department. According to him, the Attorney General had forwarded a letter written to the Ministry of Health to his outfit asking that steps be taken to honour the terms of the contract.
He further explained that the letters from the Attorney General were subsequently forwarded to the legal department of the Ministry of Finance.