Suit against showing of Anas' video a futile pursuit – Kofi Bentil

The lawyer indicated that although the judges have the right to protest, “It is a futile pursuit.”

Kofi Bentil, Vice President of IMANI Ghana

As pressure mounts on Ace journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas to halt the planned premiering of a video in which some thirty-five journalists have been implicated in an alleged corruption scandal, the vice president of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana has described the pursuit as futile.

Kofi Bentil, in a separate interview at the Ghana Bar Association conference said he agrees with suggestions that the video be shown considering public interest.

According to him, previous videos that have emerged through Anas’ investigations have been made public. He wondered how the implicated judges will be able to justify why theirs should not be shown.

“Lawyers understand precedence. If in the past, all the other people who have come under scrutiny or come under the spotlight of Anas have had their videos shown, how do you justify a position that if it concerns judges, it must not be shown? The judges have the right to ask these questions in court and have them determined; but I’m simply saying that, depending on what the law says, a determination will be made. But even the law is situated within a certain societal milieu and context and the people who will make the judgement on this matter will be well advised and I think they will take into cognisance what has gone on before and even  the general public good,” he said.

Mr Bentil noted that showing the video will be to the benefit of the indicted judges as it may clear all doubts on the mind of  people.

“Is it even in the interest of persons who have been implicated that this is not shown? Right now, you have all kinds of wild ideas about judges collecting goats and people being sent ladies of convenient and all kinds of things, which sometimes when you see the actual footage, will be kind of tempered down because you realise it may not have been wild and dramatic as people thought,” he stated.

In his opinion, “nobody knows who and who have those videos. If it’s not show on TV or wherever, it’s clear that it will go out but again, it’s useful for them [indicted judges] to ask questions so that after the fight, they will say that at least, they got a fair hearing.”

Twenty-two circuit court judges named in the petition have been suspended after a crucial meeting of the council to consider measures against them. However, 14 of them have sued the Judicial Council, challenging the processes leading their suspension.

Titled ‘Ghana in the Eyes of God – Epic of Injustice’, the piece of investigative work will be premiered at the Accra International Conference Centre on September 22 and 23, 2015.

Meanwhile, one of the High Court judges cited in the judicial bribery scandal has filed a suit against investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Justice Paul Dery, one of 12 High Court judges captured on video allegedly receiving bribes to compromise on administering justice, in a writ filed at the Fast Track division of the High Court is seeking a total of 17 reliefs.

The topmost being “A declaration that the 1st Defendant (Tiger Eye PI) obtained the contents of the audio-visual recording unlawfully.”

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