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Kwesi Pratt tackles GBA over Sammy Awuku contempt charge

Tue, 2 Jul 2013 Source: Joy Online

Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has condemned comments by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) suggesting that the Supreme Court was too lenient with NPP’s Deputy Communication Director, Sammy Awuku.

According to Mr Pratt, the suggestion was unfortunate because some members of the Association spew more contemptuous comments than what brought Sammy Awuku before the panel of Judges hearing the election petition.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Deputy Communication Director had described as “selective” the Supreme Court Judges’ decision to single out a Daily Guide report as improper reportage of Court proceedings.

Sammy Awuku was subsequently invited by the Judges for contempt of Court and banned from attending the remainder of the election petition proceedings.

Reacting to the sanction subsequently, spokesperson for the GBA, Mr. Tony Forson said Sammy Awuku’s punishment was "mild but a good start".

But speaking on Peace FM on Tuesday July 2, Mr Pratt Jnr. said he was appalled by comments from lawyers, but especially the Bar Association for suggesting there should have been a more stringent punishment for Mr Awuku.

According to him, when non-lawyers like himself and Sammy Awuku make comments alleged to be contemptuous, they should be pardoned since their knowledge of the law is limited, but he observed that respected members of the Association have made more serious comments in the past.

He suggested that because people perceived to be respected lawyers have been making contemptuous remarks without any sanction, it encouraged the likes of Mr Awuku, Ken Kurankye, Stephen Atubiga and Kwaku Boahen to follow suit.

Kwasi Pratt also added his voice to appeals to the Court to exercise restraint in punishing political commentators for alleged contemptuous comments because that could create fear and stifle free speech.

Source: Joy Online

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