Home » MP Gyakye Quayson’s Trial Continues in Absentia

MP Gyakye Quayson’s Trial Continues in Absentia

by Victor Adetimilehin

Legal Affairs

The unfolding legal saga involving Assin-North Member of Parliament, James Gyakye Quayson, deepens as the trial on perjury and forgery charges persists, unfolding in his notable absence. The court’s decision to forge ahead without Quayson, based on the orders from the November 3, 2023 proceedings, raises eyebrows and amplifies concerns about the fairness of the proceedings in his absence.

Lead counsel Tsatsu Tsikata expressed his astonishment at the court’s decision, learning about the November 3 proceedings through a Graphic Online publication. This revelation adds an element of uncertainty to the legal proceedings, with questions arising about communication breakdowns and the unexpected absence of the accused.

When the court resumed in October, the trial originally slated for October 27 faced a postponement due to the presiding judge’s attendance at training. Quayson’s legal team submitted a medical note on October 13, indicating an upcoming medical test. Attempting to coordinate with the Attorney-General’s Office for a mutually agreeable trial date, the defense proposed November 17, 2023, after several unsuccessful attempts.

On November 3, the court ruled to proceed in absentia if Quayson and his legal team failed to appear at the next hearing. In the recent proceedings on November 9, Quayson was absent, and Tsikata informed the court of the MP’s medical situation in Canada. Tsikata requested the presence of the attending medical doctor, underscoring the seriousness of Quayson’s health condition.

Dismissing the reasons for Quayson’s absence, the court directed the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, who had been in the witness box since July 2022.

Quayson faces charges of forgery and perjury linked to alleged offenses preceding the 2020 Assin North parliamentary election. He vehemently pleads not guilty to charges encompassing forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury, and false declaration for office. The prosecution alleges that Quayson provided false information to the Passport Office and the Electoral Commission regarding his citizenship and allegiance to a foreign country.

As the trial unfolds in Quayson’s absence, the legal intricacies and medical controversies amplify the complexity of this high-profile case, sparking debates about the adequacy of legal procedures and the accessibility of justice.

In an atmosphere of uncertainty, legal observers anticipate further developments, highlighting the need for a transparent and equitable legal system that ensures justice prevails even in the face of intricate circumstances. The evolving courtroom drama puts a spotlight on the importance of transparency in legal proceedings, prompting a broader conversation on the challenges faced by legal practitioners and the potential reforms required for a more efficient and equitable justice system.

Source: [Daily Graphic]

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