General News of Thu, 31 Oct 201337
Did the New Crusading Guide publish ‘fake’ UK Court Judgment?
The London High Court of Justice Judgment dated June 6, 2001 which was published (scanned) on the frontpage, Monday, October 28, 2013 edition has been described as “Fake”.
The accusation is apparently premised on the appearance of the signature of Norton Rose, Solicitors for Societe Generale, the claimant in the litigation at the London High Court of Justice, as opposed to Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) who were the defendants, at the tail end of the judgment published by this paper.
The question has been asked as to “how can the ruling of a court be signed by a lawyer?” Good question! And the answer is obvious. A Lawyer, even more so, a lawyer for an interested party in the litigation cannot sign the ruling and/or judgment of a court.
And it is conceded that on the face of the judgment we published/scanned, it would appear as if the Solicitors/Lawyers for the claimant had signed the judgment. The effect of the presence of the authorised official stamp of the court notwithstanding.
However, our checks have revealed that Norton Rose, the Solicitors for the claimant (SG) did not purport to sign the judgment.
Apparently, they had applied for a copy of the judgment which they intended to forward to Bindman & Partners, the Solicitors of GNPC in the litigation before the Ghana Government ordered their withdrawal for the Attorney-General’s Department to take over the GNPC brief, and they (Norton Rose) appended their signature at the bottom of the said judgment.
The New Crusading GUIDE opted not to publish a ‘covering letter’ Norton Rose had attached to the copy of the June 6, 2001 London Court judgment they were forwarding to Bindman & Partners because we didn’t think it would add much to our Monday publication. However, with the benefit of hindsight, we think that omission was not helpful, and has created the grounds for suspicion or mischief or both.
In order to clear the cloud of doubt surrounding the authenticity of the published judgment, we have decided to publish the said “covering letter” alongside the judgment under reference, and hope that those who are interested in the truth and facts would focus on the “essentials” relative to the saga of the D511 drillship.
Meanwhile, a fuller and more detailed version (further and better particulars) of the June 6, 2001 court judgment will be published for the perusal of our readers and the general public soon.