THE MINORITY Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has refuted media reports claiming that he has applied for a plea bargain in the ongoing ambulance case.
According to the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, these reports are the work of his detractors seeking to tarnish his image.
In a press release issued on Thursday, October 5, through his lawyers, Dr. Ato Forson urged the public to disregard these reports, emphasizing that they lack any factual basis.
“The publication is without any factual basis and an attempt to court public disaffection to the person of Hon Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.”
He further clarified that he has not made any application to the Honorable Court or the Attorney General Department for a plea bargain or out-of-court settlement.
Dr. Ato Forson assured that he is prepared to defend himself and has already initiated his defense in the ongoing case.
“The record would show that the Honorable Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has opened his defense in the trial and has since called some of his witnesses.”
“The Honourable Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has throughout maintained his innocence, having pleaded not guilty to the charges.”
Meanwhile, the legal team representing the Minority Leader, led by Dr. Abdul Baasit Bamba, previously filed an application requesting the judge to recuse herself from the case. Dr. Bamba argued that it was legally inappropriate for the judge to hear the motion for recusal herself, citing concerns of bias.
The judge had faced accusations of bias from another accused person in the case, Richard Jakpa, who clashed with her during a hearing. While the Chief Justice had indicated that the judge could proceed with the case, Dr. Bamba argued that the allegations of bias were grave and should be heard by a different judge.
He cited specific instances where the judge's comments had unsettled his client and raised concerns about receiving a fair trial.
Read the minority leader's full statement below:
The attention of the Minority Leader, Hon Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has been drawn to a malicious publication on the front page of the Thursday, 5th October, 2023 edition of the Daily Guide Newspaper.
We wish to state that the said publication is without any factual basis and merely an attempt to court public disaffection for the person of Hon. Dr Cassiel Ato Forson. As the minority leader of Ghana’s Parliament, The Hon. Ato Forson values the role that the media plays in informing the public and fostering a sense of community. However, it is disheartening to witness the dissemination of information that appears to be driven by malicious intent rather than a commitment to truthful reporting.
The Hon. Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has not applied to the Honorable Court or the Attorney General Department for a plea bargain or any out of court settlement of the pending charges being prosecuted against him. Indeed, the record would show that the Honorable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has opened his defence in the trial and has since called some of his witnesses.
The Honourable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has throughout maintained his innocence having pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The lawyers for the 3rd Accused person have indicated their readiness together with their principal to settle the case and the Honorable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has clearly indicated that he has no objection to the desire of the 3rd Accused to settle the matter without more.
The Honourable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson believes that this latest mischievous publication by the Daily Guide is basically to divert attention from the #OccupyBOG demonstration. The Honourable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson cannot be distracted by this calumny, as he remains focused for God and Country.
In the interest of promoting a healthy and constructive public discourse, The minority leader kindly requests that the Daily Guide Newspaper retracts the content in question and issue a public statement acknowledging the lack of substance in the allegations made against him. By doing so, you will demonstrate your commitment to journalistic integrity.