A presenter and two panelists of an Accra-based radio station, Montie FM, who were convicted of contempt by the Supreme Court last week have been sentenced to four months' imprisonment.
The three who have also been fined 10,000 cedis each, were handcuffed and 'whisked away' by police after the sentences were handed by the Supreme Court.
Directors of Network Broadcasting Company, operators of Montie FM - Edward Addo, Ato Ahwoi and Kwesi Kyei Atuah have been fined 30,000 cedis and have to pay by close of day tomorrow. Harry Zakour, owner of the frequency was also fined 30,000 cedis.
The panelists, Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and a host of the show, Salifu Maase and owners of the radio station were found guilty of contempt charges following threats by the panelists to kill the Judges.
Presiding judge Sophia Akuffo said the guests were in the studio to attack with such recklessness without considering it was the eve of Martyr's day-a day set aside to remember three judges who were murdered more than thirty years ago by political operatives.
She said the directors were irresponsible and careless because they were to direct the broad vision of the station.
Alistair Nelson held his face in his palms as they left the court and Salifu looked up the skies and shook his head, Joy News' Raymond Aquah has reported.
The panelists, on a discussion programme, threatened to kill judges, with specific reference to Justice Sulemana Gbadegbe and Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.
The two Justices who were specifically mentioned in the contemptuous comments recused themselves from the case on Tuesday, July 12, the first day the case was called.
They were replaced by Justice Sophia Akuffo and Justice Julius Ansah.
All owners of the radio station were summoned by the court as only one shareholder, Edward Addo showed up in the court on the first day.
The court did not understand why the other directors and owners of the radio station were not in court.
It rejected a claim by one of their lawyers, Nana Ato Dadzie that the rest of the owners of the station were out of the jurisdiction and demanded that the entire ownership of Montie FM should have been in court since it is a corporate body.
The court presided over by Justice Akuffo adjourned hearing to Monday, July 18, 2016, after the contemnors complained they didn't receive the summons in good time.
July 18 hearing
On July 18, other owners, Kwesi Atuah and Harry Zakour joined Edward Addo, the panellists, and the presenter in Court.
Presiding Judge, Sophia Akuffo ordered that the contemptuous tape is played amidst pleas from the counsel of the contemnors.
The two panellists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn after listening to the tape said they were liable with much regret.
Also, Godwin Tamakloe, their lawyer, apologised specifically to two of the Justices – Justice Sule Gbadegbe and Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood – who were specifically mentioned in the threatening comments.
Mugabe and the directors of the company said they were liable with explanations.
Edward Addo indicated the utterances were despicable and that he ordered an apology to be issued when he heard it.
He added that the perpetrators had been punished and steps had been taken by the management of the station to ensure that comments like that were not repeated.
Another owner, Kwesi Kyei Atuah said he would make sure the incident is not repeated in future but added he appointed management 'with the hope that they would stop things like this.'
Harry Zakour, owner of the frequency apologised and said the incident will not be repeated.
The apex court convicted them but counsel for the contemnors pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
They were asked to re-appear before the court on July 27, 2016, for sentencing. Meanwhile, the police had to escort some people believed to be supporters of the National Democratic Congress out of the court premises.
July 27 hearing
One of their lawyers, Godwin Tamakloe publicly retracted the offensive statements made by his clients against the Justices and apologised on their behalf.
Joy News' Derrick Ekow Sam reported that dozens of police officers were deployed to guard the court ahead of tody's hearing.
One of the owners, Ato Ahwoi who was not in court on the day of the conviction was convicted before Justice Sophia Akuffo pronounced the judgement.
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