Thaddaeus Sory, the managing partner of Sory@law, the firm that issued a warning to media houses on behalf of the Judicial Service has maintained that the statement was a step in the right direction.
Following the issuance of the statement, the judiciary has come under intense attack with the Ghana Journalist Association and other public figures criticizing the judiciary for attempting to gag the media which is the fourth estate of the realm.
On Monday, the GJA held a press conference where its president, Roland Affail Monney, pulled no punches in hitting back at the judiciary for seeking to undermine the media.
The GJA said that the statement is an affront to media freedom and a direct attack on the independence of the media which is guaranteed by the constitution.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the media. The GJA is, to put it mildly, dumbstruck in reading this obnoxious directive pregnant with insidious threats to media freedom in Ghana which is touted as a land of freedom and justice. With all due respect, this is scandalous.
Reacting to the GJA press conference in a Joy News interview, Thaddeus Sory said that the GJA failed to address any of the issues highlighted in the letter by the Judicial Service.
He maintains that the statement was a reminder of ‘basic journalism’ principles.
“Jesus Christ. I’m usually the first person to concede a point if it is clear. The GJA has not said one thing that has anything to do with this letter. The heading ‘Threats against the med’, where is the threat in here. You have read a paragraph which says if you say vengeful or spiteful things about the judiciary, it has consequences. Did I need to tell the GJA members who know basic journalism that this has consequences? I have only repeated what they should know,” he said.
With a few days left for the Supreme Court to declare the verdict on the 2020 election petition, some have wondered if the timing of the statement was right.
Sory is convinced that there is nothing wrong with the timing of the statement.
“If there was any time we should have this conversation, it is now. At the time I was issuing this statement upon instruction, these are not the things that agitated my mind that there is the likelihood of a decision coming out and all that. But now, seeing how people are reacting to a statement that is basic and restating something we should all know, I now understand why it should be issued because the nature of the proceedings is what is provoking this,” he said.