The Attorney General’s department has confirmed that lawyers of minority leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson have initiated moves for a plea bargain. According to Deputy Attorney General Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, they did so through a third party.
This revelation follows a challenge thrown to the Attorney General’s department, by lawyers of Dr. Ato Forson to put out any letter that suggests that their client has initiated any plea bargain talks.
The challenge was in response to media reports that the minority leader had contacted the Attorney General’s department to get a plea bargain deal.
Dr. Ato Forson and two others are facing criminal charges of causing financial loss to the state in the faulty ambulance deal. The accused persons are accused of criminal acts in the purchase of 50 faulty ambulances to the tune of 2.3 million Euros.
Dr. Ato Forson who was deputy finance minister at the time of the purchase is specifically accused of issuing letters of credit for the purchase of the ambulances without any authorization. He has however denied this vehemently.
The state has so far closed its case and the court has directed Dr. Ato Forson who is the first accused person to open his defence. He has so far called two witnesses with plans to call four others including his former boss Seth Terkper and Former Health Minister Alex Segbefia.
But the state says it has received letters from lawyers of Dr. Ato Forson endorsing a request for a plea bargain brought before it by a third party.
In an interview with Citi News, Deputy Attorney General Alfred Tuah-Yeboah explained that his office first received two separate letters from a third party offering to pay the cost of the ambulances to see the case withdrawn.
“I think last year someone who was not a party to that prosecution offered to make a refund and take the ambulance back and in lieu of that we withdraw the case,” Tuah-Yeboah noted.
However, because the Attorney General’s department did not want to deal with persons who were not directly charged, the accused persons were asked to take a position to the offer.
“There was a second letter and we said we don’t even know those of you who have written this letter. If you want those who are being prosecuted to take advantage of your proposal, they should rather come up with that proposal,” The deputy Attorney General said in an interview with Citi News’ Hanson Agyemang.
Subsequently, lawyers of some of the accused persons according to Tuah-Yeboah wrote to the department endorsing the offer.
“The accused persons, some of them through their lawyers wrote that they actually endorse the letter written by the third party seeking to return the money.”
On the specific question, of whether the Minority Leader made such a move, the Deputy Attorney General indicated that “Mr. Forson’s lawyers also wrote a letter seeking to say they were also siding with the third party who had offered to pay that money.”
Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s department is yet to make a decision on the request.