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General News Mon, 19 Jun 2006

Attorney-General ordered to appear in court

Accra, June 19, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Monday ordered the Attorney-General (A-G) to appear before it on Tuesday June 20 in respect of a libel suit filed against the Daily Guide newspaper by Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, former First Lady.


The Court on June 13 ordered its Registrar to serve the A-G to enable him to appear before it.


This was after Mr Godfred Dame Yeboah, Counsel for the Defendants, had brought his witness Mr Edward Duah Agyeman, Auditor-General, to testify in the case.


He indicated that he was left with the Attorney-General to testify but would need an order of the Court.


When the court resumed sitting on Monday, a representative from the A-G's Office told the court that the state had institutionalized criminal proceedings against Carridem Development Company, adding that they were at a loss as to what type of documents were needed. The Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Irismay Brown, however, stated that institutionalizing of a criminal proceedings should not be the reason for the "non-appearance of the A-G," indicating that the A-G was aware of the request made by the Defence.

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Mr Yeboah, who represented the defendants, showed the Court a copy of the subpoena.


Mrs Rawlings has sued the Daily Guide, Mrs. Gina Blay, Editor and Mr Ato Sam, alias Baby Ansabah, Deputy Editor, both of the newspaper and Western Publications, publishers of the Daily Guide, for libel. The newspaper, in its Wednesday, July 6, 2005, edition published a story titled, "Milking the Sacred Cow - Konadu owes 2.8 billion to the State."


The former First Lady in her November 23, 2005 suit demanded general damages including aggravated and/or exemplary damages for libel in respect of the words published by the defendants on the front page of the July 6, 2005 edition of the paper.


She is further praying the Court to restrain the defendants from further publishing similar or other libellous statements or stories about her.


The defendants in their statement of defence contended that the words together with the story that followed them were fair comments on matters of public interest.

Source: GNA
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