An application filed by lawyers of National Democratic Congress (NDC) Assin North Parliamentary Candidate James Gyakye Quayson to vary the hearing of his criminal case has been dismissed by the Accra High Court.
The Court ruled that the case will be heard daily, starting on Tuesday, July 4, which means Mr Gyakye Quayson would have known the outcome of the by-election in the Assin North Constituency.
Lawyers for the deposed MP had sought to halt the trial to allow him to campaign for the Assin North by-election. They cited Article 55(13) of the Constitution, arguing that Mr Gyakye Quayson was on a national assignment. Lead counsel Tsatsu Tsikata also accused the Attorney General of making prejudicial comments in the matter.
However, in her ruling, presiding judge Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh stated that adjournments are at the discretion of the court and not for the convenience of parties. She agreed with the Attorney General and deemed the application to vary the hearing as unmeritorious.
“The order of this court was clearly in line with the law,” she said. “His rights have not been violated by the court for refusing to give him time to campaign. Mere refusal of the court does not constitute a denial of the right to a fair trial.”
Justice Ekue Yanzuh also noted that the alleged prejudicial comments made by the Attorney General were irrelevant to the application.
The criminal trial has been adjourned to Thursday, June 29, with day-to-day proceedings expected to continue on Tuesday, July 4, due to the unavailability of Criminal Court 3 on Mondays, the June 27 by-election, and the pending holiday.