Did the Daily Guide goof?The Chicago-based Cook County Circuit Court has told the daily EXPRESS that the court’s records do not have any subpoena in the name of former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings to appear before it on Monday October 16, 2006.
Elena Shea Demos, Esq. who is the First Chief Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the Court Clerk, Dorothy Brown told the dailyEXPRESS that “there is no subpoena of former president John Jerry Rawlings presently contained in the court file” as at Wednesday October 11 when the first email response was sent and Thursday October 12 when we received further follow-up emails.
The court says it cannot “render an opinion regarding whether it was forged” because they have not seen the said subpoena document but is emphatic that no subpoena has been listed in the name of the former president and same cannot be find in the Criminal case file #06 MC1 214747 titled The People of the State of Illinois v. Victoria Boateng.
The email correspondence which followed more than a week of long distance telephone calls and email enquiries explained how the court handles subpoenas.
“As I stated, a subpoena of the former President of Ghana was not contained in the court file. My Criminal Department informs me that subpoenas are contained in criminal court files when attorneys file them. Perhaps the subpoena you reference has not been filed with us” explained Elena Demos Esq.
The confirmation by the Cook County Court introduces a new dimension to the Daily Guide’s publication of the court’s alleged subpoena of the former president and the reaction of Jerry Rawlings’ office describing it as forged. Victor Smith, an aide to the former president insists that there’s something fishy about the alleged subpoena and the manner in which it was delivered, but the Daily Guide and its acting editor Fortune Alimi say they are not in a position to determine whether the document was forged or known to the court that allegedly issued it.
Mr. Alimi told the dailyEXPRESS on Saturday that his paper has no interest in finding out from the court about the alleged subpoena. According to him, “I am a journalist and I get some information and I publish it.”
Pressed to explain why he is not interested in checking with the court after the doubts raised by the Rawlings office, Mr. Alimi said it is not for them to check on the authenticity of the document, adding that “you’ve have found out and the court says it is not authentic then fine.”
The dailyEXPRESS is not in a position to confirm whether the said subpoena is fake or forged, because as explained by the Cook Country Court it is not known to them, but cannot say if it was forged. It however goes on to say that “pursuant to Illinois law, subpoenas must be issued by the Clerk of Court, Dorothy Brown. An attorney will bring a subpoena to our counter and, whether the subpoena has been filled out or is blank, my office will issue the subpoena by affixing a raised seal on the original and a rubber stamp seal on the copies, along with the signature of Dorothy Brown. Each of our 2,300 employees has been deputized and is authorized by law to sign Dorothy Brown's name. After the subpoena has been issued by my office, it is the attorney who decides who it should be served upon and why.”
What is however known and confirmed is that the Elena Demos Esq’s office has not received any such subpoena request and same is not on the case file in the matter Victoria Boateng’s assault of one Ruben Hadzide.
The office of the former president and the Freddie Blay (First deputy speaker of parliament) owned Daily Guide have been involved in a long running radio & print battle over the said subpoena with Mr. Smith accusing the newspaper of political mischief.
The newspaper is also yet to explain why it kept out the name of the law firm that reportedly applied for and issued the subpoena, Ubio O’Neal and Associates of Chicago from its publications.
The object of the daily Guide publications has been that Victoria, who has been charged for assault on Ruben Hadzide, has caused a subpoena to be issued for the President Rawlings to appear and bring along evidential material on the murder of former Ghanaian head of state I. K. Acheampong, Victoria’s (or alleged) father.
Victoria Boateng was charged for knowingly causing bodily harm to Ruben Hadzide after striking him in the face and breaking his glasses on July 30, 2006.
She was arrested on September 11, 2006 and her bail was set at $2,500. She paid 10%, or $250, as the law allows her to do.