The Judge presiding over the James Gyakye Quayson trial has warned that she will make the Assin North MP continue and end the cross-examination of the prosecution’s first witness, Richard Takyi-Mensah on Monday if his lawyers are not present.
This follows the court’s decision to refuse a request by the lawyers of the accused to adjourn the case to October or November.
On Friday, lawyers for the accused were expected to conclude cross-examination of the prosecution’s first witness.
However, his lawyers were not present as the lawyer on record Justin Teriwajah wrote to the court, notifying the judge of a three-day medical excuse given to him by his doctor.
Based on that, he requested for the case scheduled for Friday to be adjourned to a period after the legal break, which will end in the first week of October.
He explained that his client, Gyakye Quayson will not be available during the legal break as he will be out of the jurisdiction for medical attention.
He also indicated that Tsatsu Tsikata will not be available within the same period.
Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah Yeboah who sympathized with Mr. Teriwajah on his medical condition supported the request for adjournment on Friday but opposed the request for the return date to be scheduled for a period after the legal break.
He notified the court that agreeing with the defence will be unfair to the prosecution. Mr. Tuah-Yeboah pointed out to the court that the witness gave his evidence in chief on July 12, 2022, and it’s been well over a year, but the accused is yet to complete his cross-examination. He prayed the court to rather adjourn the case to Monday, July 31.
“This case started in January 2022. PW1 gave evidence on July 12, 2022. It’s been one year, 16 days since PW1 mounted the witness box. In view of this, I like to pray that this matter is adjourned to Monday subject to my lady’s convenience to have cross-examination of PW1 completed,” Mr. Tuah Yeboah urged the court.
He further prayed the court to set a date within the legal break to make sure the cross-examination of Richard Takyi Mensah is completed if the Monday date suggested is not possible.
The Deputy Attorney General urged the court that “in the event that Monday is not convenient, we will urge that within the vacation subject to my lady obtaining the required warrant from the Chief Justice, this matter be adjourned for continuation of cross-examination of PW1. It will be in the interest of Justice and Fairness if PW1 is not made to mount the witness box in the next legal year.”
In the absence of James Gyakye Quayson from the jurisdiction, Mr. Tuah Yeboah indicated that he can be made to join the proceedings virtually if he is out of the country.
The letter from Mr. Teriwajah seeking the adjournment to a period after the legal break indicated that Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata will also not be available during the legal break.
The Deputy Attorney General however described it as not relevant in determining the return date, saying, “the paragraph talking about Mr. Tsikata is of no relevance because he is not counsel on this matter. He holds brief for Teriwajah.”
Gyakye Quayson who spoke on his behalf urged the court to grant the request of his lawyers to enable him attend to his medical needs.
But the Judge, Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, declined the request.
She adjourned the case to Monday, July 31 with the caution that the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses will be continued by the Assin North Member of Parliament if his lawyers are not available on Monday, July 31.