Justice Dery accuses judge of bias

High Court judge, Justice Paul Uuter Dery has accused the Court of Appeal judge that dismissed his contempt case against Anas and four others, of bias.

He says Justice Gertrude Torkonoo exhibited bias or a real likelihood of bias “when she dismissed [his] Motion on Notice for Committal for Contempt”.

The embattled judge is fighting attempts to remove him from the bench after investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas petitioned the president to remove him for misconduct.

Anas’ Tiger Eye PI filmed Justice Dery and 33 others allegedly trading justice for pecuniary and other material benefits.

He has filed an avalanche of cases both at the High Court and Supreme Court seeking various reliefs.

In one of such cases filed at the High Court, Justice Dery cited Anas, Media Foundation for West Africa boss, Sulemana Braimah, Kwabena Anokye Adisi and managers of the Accra International Conference Centre for contempt.

He wanted them committed to prison for what he called conduct disrespectful of, and scandalized, the court.

He argued although the persons cited were aware of his application seeking to injunct the screening of Anas’ audio-visual recordings, they engaged in acts that were prejudicial to his case.

But Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Torkonoo, sitting as an additional High Court judge, dismissed the case, holding that Justice Dery himself had withdrawn an application to stop the principal actor, Anas from the video.

After the ruling, the embattled judge and his lawyers expressed surprise and served they would appeal.

Now they are accusing justice Torkonoo of not only bias but also of acting in breach of “the audi alteram partem principle of natural justice through her failure to give [Justice Dery] prior notice” before hearing the matter and dismissing it.

He wants an order from the Supreme Court restrain Justice Torkonoo from hearing the substantive case pending before her.

The Court of Appeal judge selected by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood to hear all matter relating to the judicial bribery scandal.

Justice Dery doubts that the judge exercised her discretion to hear his contempt case without notice to him fairly.

To that extent, he does not want her to preside over his substantive case in which he is arguing that the audio-visual recordings were done in violation of his right to privacy.

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