On June 18, 2020, which marked 12 years after his incarceration, smiley Tsikata recounted on TV3 how it all happened and how he got his freedom back and eventually succeeded in purging his name of the blemish that his sentencing had cast on his hard-won national and international reputation.
Among many other things he spoke about, he also mentioned that while in prison, he was allowed to take a walk in the courtyard and while doing the usual walking one day, he had a revelation that by the time he would walk around a hundred times, he would have been close to getting out of the prison.
Interestingly, he said it wasn’t long after going round the courtyard for a hundred times when he had an asthma attack and was rushed to the hospital where news of the presidential pardon was delivered to him and he didn’t have to go back to the prison cells.
In June, that year, a Fast Track High Court found Mr Tsatsu Tsikata guilty on three counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state and also misapplying public property.
He was therefore sentenced to five years in prison.
However, on October 17, 2017, the Court of Appeal set aside the sentencing of Tsatsu Tsikata by the High Court.
The court accordingly "acquitted and discharged" him of willfully causing financial loss to the state.
The Court of Appeal quashed the decision of the High Court saying that there was a miscarriage of justice because the court did not wait for a Supreme Court decision before proceeding to deliver its judgement.
The court also held that Mr Tsikata was not given a fair hearing because he was denied the opportunity to defend himself.
Mr Tsikata had filed the appeal in June 2008 while in prison to challenge the decision of the High Court, arguing that the judgement that led to his imprisonment was unreasonable and was not supported by evidence.
Former President John Agyekum Kuffour in whose administration the “miscarriage of justice” was meted out to Tsikata gave him a presidential pardon on his last day in office in December 2008 but the determined lawyer rejected the pardon, saying he didn’t need it. He said he was bent on getting justice and clearing his name, which he succeeded in doing eventually.
According to him, accepting the pardon would have meant admitting guilt for the accusation based on which he was imprisoned.