Dery Withdraws Injunction Against Anas

The interlocutory application filed by Justice Paul Uuter Dery, one of the 12 High Court judges implicated in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ recent investigative work exposing massive corruption within the judiciary, was yesterday withdrawn.

This was after Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, an Appeal Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a high court judge, gave Nii Kpakpo Addo, counsel for the applicant, two choices of either moving the application or withdrawing it.

The choice was given to counsel who had earlier admitted it was tough serving the investigative journalist the application for injunction, writ of summons and statement of claim and that he needed an adjournment to use substituted service to get Anas to court.

According to the trial judge, since Anas’ video on the corruption scandal was to be premiered yesterday, she would not reduce the court to a laughing stock by adjourning the matter.

She therefore gave counsel the choice of either moving the application for her to rule on it or withdrawing it altogether, since she had no intention of stopping the screening since it was of public interest.

The trial judge initially hinted that the injunction application contained some issues which the state needed to respond to but counsel for Justice Dery said the injunction was meant for Anas alone.

In addition, Justice Torkonoo noted that the injunction did not indicate who it was specifically aimed at and asked the State Attorney, Mrs Ellen Ziwu, why they filed a response to the injunction, to which she explained that some of the issues needed to be addressed by the state.

Substituted Service
The trial judge, after counsel opted to withdraw the application, consequently struck it out as withdrawn but granted counsel leave to serve Anas through substituted service.

Counsel had explained that the bailiff had tried the registered address of Anas as well as the Crusading Guide Newspaper but was not successful in serving the investigative journalist.

Meanwhile, immediately after the case, counsel for Justice Dery hinted that they had just served the International Conference Centre where the screening of the documentary was to take place yesterday.

The case was adjourned to September 25, 2015.
Justice Paul is also seeking for committal for contempt at the High Court against Anas and Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

 Bola Ray, Chief Executive of EIB Network and Samuel Frimpong, an editor of the New Crusading Guide, are part of those the justice wants to haul before court over the same issue.

Justice Dery has issued a writ seeking a total of 17 reliefs , amongst them a declaration that the video evidence detailing judges, including him, allegedly receiving bribes was illegally collected and in violation of his right to privacy.

This was followed by another writ seeking an interlocutory injunction  on managers of the Accra Intentional Conference Centre against allowing the centre to be used to screen the video.

Twenty-two Circuit Court judges and magistrates have so far been suspended while 12 other superior court judges, mostly at the High Courts, are facing possible impeachment for corruption over the bribery scandal that has rocked the judiciary.

The high-profile judges have been captured on either video or audio allegedly collecting bribes in order to give judgements in favour of those who had offered them.

However, a day after the judge issued the first writ seeking to injunct the publication of the transcripts, the New Crusading Guide newspaper published what it said were conversations with Justice Dery at his home where he allegedly received the bribe.

This action of the newspaper, the judge argued, constituted an abuse of the court and must be punished.

Justice Dery believes the intended screening of the video at the Accra International Conference Centre whilst cases against same are pending in court is designed to scandalise the court itself, abuse his person and his right to fair trial.

By Fidelia Achama

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