Quayson Wants Trial Judge Out Again


Lawyers for embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson have filed another application at the Supreme Court seeking the removal of Justice Mary Yanzuh from his trial.

The accused in the past filed similar applications both before the trial court and Supreme Court but failed to remove the Judge against whom he had made allegations of bias.

Mr. Quayson has been charged with five counts of deceit of public officer, forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory statement, perjury and false declaration of office.

The prosecution was expected to call its third witness yesterday but Tastsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the MP informed the court that they had filed the application for certiorari and prohibition against the Judge at the Supreme Court on ground of bias.

He, therefore, asked the court to adjourn the case pending the determination of the certiorari application adding that “particularly when we are asking for an order prohibiting your Ladyship from further conducting this case on ground of bias.”

The request was opposed by Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, who argued that although he had not seen the said application, the mere filing of such a process at the Supreme Court does not prohibit the trial court from proceeding with the case.

He said it has been decided by the Apex Court that the mere filing of such a process does not stay proceedings unless there is an express order staying proceeding, urging the court to proceeding with the hearing.

Justice Yanzuh, in a ruling said she had not been shown a copy of the said application and the law is clear that the pendency of the filing of a certiorari at the Supreme Court does not automatically stay proceedings.

She said the court is within the law to continue the proceedings especially when there is no order from a higher court prohibiting it from continuing with the case thereby dismissing the oral application to adjourn the case.

Meanwhile, the court also dismissed an application filed by defence lawyers for medical evidence to be provided to explain why Mr. Quayson who is said to be in Canada has missed multiple court sittings.

The court had asked Mr. Tsikata if he was ready to move the application but the lawyer said he was not ready, noting that the application had been prejudiced by the Judge’s direct statement on November 9, 2023, that the accused person has no medical condition.

He added that it was clear that the matters in the court are not being addressed with an open judicial hand but simply on the basis of the prejudices that the defence have put before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Tuah-Yeboah refuted claims of bias by noting that “this honourable court has not conducted itself in such a way that an allegation can be made that this honourable court is bias. I want to say unreservedly that the court has been fair to all the parties.”

He added that with regard to the medical condition of the accused person, the only evidence that has been provided to the court was a letter which Mr. Tsikata showed to the court when the parties met the Judge’s chambers on October 27, which only stated that the MP “was undergoing medical test, nothing more, nothing less.”

Justice Yanzuh adjourned the case to today for the prosecution to call its third witness after the court was told that the witness was bereaved and could be in court yesterday.

The court once again directed that a virtual link be created and shared with lawyers of the accused person for him to join the proceedings virtually.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak