A former Attorney General under the Kufuor led administration has rubbished calls for his prosecution over alleged damning publication in the leaked US diplomatic cable wikileaks.
A pressure group calling itself the Forum for Governance and Justice is leading the crusade for the prosecution of Joe Ghartey for allegedly covering up on cases of judicial corruption and narcotics.
The group quoted portions of the wikileaks publication in which the then US Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater said: “it is unclear why Boakye was not charged, but some contacts have suggested that Boakye may have some incriminating information on other individuals, causing the Attorney-General (Joe Ghartey) not to prosecute him.”
She was commenting on the infamous MV Benjamin narcotics tape recording.
The group also made reference to another tape recording in which a circuit court judge in the Ashanti Region was alleged to be demanding monetary rewards for favourable verdicts, an issue which also found its way into the wikileaks.
The group on the evidence of those two issues cited Joe Ghartey for official cover up and dereliction of duty.
They claim the ex-Justice Minister failed to bring the perpetrators to book in spite of the convincing evidence at hand and must be brought to justice.
But Joe Ghartey maintains such calls are borne out of mischief or ignorance of the facts.
In a statement, the ex-Justice Minister admitted meeting the US Ambassador to Ghana to seek support in authenticating the originality of the two tape recordings and to facilitate prosecution.
“The meeting which referred to the judges was at my instance and the purpose was to get technical expertise for voice authentication as part of general international cooperation to fight crime. The technical expertise was to be paid for by the Government of Ghana. At the time there were two matters that were being investigated which had recordings of some voices as very material evidence. Ghana did not have the capacity to undertake the kind of voice authentication that we required. One matter involved a judge and the other narcotics,” he stated.
In a subsequent interview with Joy News Joe Ghartey dismissed the assertion that he failed to conduct due diligence on the matter.
He said his outfit ordered the arrest of the alleged corrupt judge and begun investigations into the matter but the judge died before any prosecution at all could take place.
On the infamous cocaine saga, Ghartey stated that the AG’s office could only prosecute based on evidence available before it.
On that evidence, it was only possible to secure a verdict against two drug barons- Kwabena Amaning, alias Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abass which he did, and not against Kofi Boakye who was then the former Director General of Police Operations.
He said the Mills administration lost an appeal by the two drug barons but has not, as yet, proceeded to the Supreme Court to overturn the Appeal Court’s decision.
But he welcomed the decision by president John Mills to re-open investigations into the case and hopefully bring Kofi Boakye to book.
But one of the spokespersons of the Forum for Governance Dr. Clement Apaak said whilst the explanation of Joe Ghartey “makes sense he would not accept it in its entirety.”
He said it is disingenuous on the part of Joe Ghartey not to have prosecuted Kofi Boakye during his tenure as Justice Minister and is now calling on the NDC to do so.