Woyome ruling: State Attorneys bare teeth at critics

State Attorneys at the Attorney General’s Department have expressed disgust over what they say are “unwarranted and uninformed attacks” on them in the wake of the Woyome ruling.

In a strongly worded statement issued Friday, the Association of State Attorneys, say they take “serious exception” to assertions that they are “incompetent, lazy and have colluded with the accused and the court to acquit and discharge Mr. Woyome.”

Justice John  Ajet-Nasam sitting at the High Court freed Mr Woyome accused of defrauding the state of ¢51 million.

His verdict has generated a lot of controversy, with some sections of the public highly critical of the Attorney General.

But the Attorneys insists the “misplaced” criticisms are coming from people who have little or no knowledge about criminal procedure and the work of Attorneys.”

“Attorneys prosecute a wide range of cases on daily basis in the courts and most of these cases are successfully prosecuted. These cases deal with the thousands of Ghanaian citizens who have been robbed, murdered, raped, defrauded, have properties stolen or suffered a myriad of crimes against their persons and property. Attorneys secure conviction in over 90% of these cases. Attorneys have also successfully prosecuted several high-profile cases over the years” the statement said.

They say it is impossible for lawyers to win all cases put before them, for which reason it will be unfair for anybody to accuse and insult lawyers if they lose some cases.

“Talk is cheap. For learned friends, who should know better, to engage in attacks, sometimes personal, against Attorneys when cases are lost is most unprofessional. Some of these attacks are fuelled by wrong appreciation of the criminal law and process.

“In many instances, attorneys have won cases against some of these lawyers. We, however appreciate learned friends who have discussed these issues constructively.

“Judges, Attorneys and defence counsel are equal partners in the criminal justice system. It is therefore regrettable for one party to incite public sentiments against the other party for whatever reasons,” the statement said.

“The Attorney-General’s Office has very good and competent Attorneys who work their hearts out to serve the nation. We are all at risk if the public loses confidence in Attorneys and in the criminal justice system.

“Attorneys remain undaunted in our efforts to do what we think is right for society,” the statement concluded.

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