Anas exposé: Judges storm court to block public screening of video
High Court Judges accused of taking bribes are heading to court to stop plans to broadcast a video that purports to record their corrupt activities.
Joy News sources say the judges — part of 22 lower court judges suspended in the wake of the exposé — intend to place an injunction on a public screening of the video, slated for September 22 and 23 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The judges, source say, will be praying the court to make it illegal for anyone to show the video on all broadcast platforms, including TV stations, the internet and on social media, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Since news about the bribery scandal that implicates about 34 High Court Judges and more than 100 Judicial Service workers broke, the Investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has come under stern pressure to abandon plans to broadcast a video documentary of his exposé.
Those who are pushing for plans of a public viewing of the video to be shelved say stinking revelations in the documentary could irreparably erode confidence in the judicial system.
Others however, say it must be screened.
But Tiger Eye PI, holders of the copyright to the video, titled “Ghana in the Eyes of God – Epic of Injustice”, say they will go ahead with plans to broadcast the exposé.
The video, which has already been shown to selected influential people, captures some judges allegedly receiving bribes – cash, tubers of yams, live goats etc – to influence judgments.
In the expose, one of the judges is heard saying: “What if I release him (armed robbery suspect) on Friday and I don’t see you again? Oh I will get him off the hook on Friday but everything will depend on you.”
The Insight newspaper has also been publishing transcripts of what it claims are conversations between undercover journalists and some Judges – most of which point to gross travesty of the rule of law.
Anas sought immunity against criminal and civil prosecution under the Whistle Blowers Act before breaking his two-year investigative story, however, the embattled judges want that immunity lifted.
They are challenging the basis for which the Chief Justice accepted the product of Anas’s investigation and using same to impeach them or for any criminal prosecution that may arise from an ongoing enquiry. The enquiry has also been met with stiff legal challenge.
Lawyers for some of the lower court judges under the judicial council investigation have filed a writ at the High Court saying the enquiry has no basis in law.
Anas’ exposé also implicates 12 high court judges. They have until today, Monday September 14 to submit their written responses to bribery allegations against them. The Chief Justice will then examine their responses before deciding whether to open a formal investigation into the accusations, in which case, they would also be suspended.