Special Prosecutor could get special courts

Special Prosecutor could get special courts
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 24-11-2017 Time: 07:11:45:am
Justice Sophia Akuffo

Special courts could be set up to prosecute corruption cases expeditiously following the passage of the Special Prosecutor law.

Chairman of Parliament's Constitutional and Legal Affairs committee Ben Abdallah Bandah who has asked for the courts, said the administrative decision to set it up lies solely with the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo.

But he expressed the hope the Chief Justice shares the view that these corruption cases to be filed by the Special Prosecutor need some special attention.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor is the Akufo-Addo government's answer to fighting political corruption without being accused of political witch-hunting.

The Office is expected to be physically set up in 2018 after Parliament passed a law last week which gives some of the Attorney-General's prosecutorial powers to the Special Prosecutor.

The President whipped up expectations last year after he said he would create the office to deal with political corruption.

But it has taken 11 months to get the law creating the office in place and there is some public pressure to see movement on the agenda to fight corruption.

With the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor set for 2018, there are fresh concerns that using the usual court procedure could mean long-winding trials fraught with delays and long adjournments.

"If we believe that corruption is a serious problem we need to deal with" then an expeditious trial is important, the Offinso South MP Ben Abdallah Bandah said.

The last time special courts were set up was in April 2017 after the then Chief Justice, Georgina Wood designated 14 'galamsey' courts to deal with the menace of illegal mining.

It followed a government crackdown on illegal mining after several years of half-hearted action to stop the practice.

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