Atta Akyea

The embattled Lawyer whose client was found guilty of criminal contempt and sentenced to ten days in prison has hit back at the justices of the Supreme Court.

Atta Akyea insists the Justices had formed their opinion on his client and were not about to give him a fair hearing.

He said even he the lawyer was not allowed to express himself, let alone his ?poor client?.

Akyea was reacting to the incarceration of Kenneth Kuranchie, Editor of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper by Supreme Court on Tuesday.


Ken Kuranchie

Kuranchie in an editorial published in his newspaper defended comments made by the Deputy Communications Director of the NPP Sammy Awuku who had described the justices hearing the Presidential Election Petition as being ?hypocritical and selective?- a comment Awuku later apologized but was punished by the Supreme Court.

Kuranchie was dragged before the Supreme Court to explain why he was supporting an apologetic Awuku and to justify why he should not be punished for repeating a contemptuous comment.

He went there with three lawyers and Atta Akyea led the team.

After a hot banter between Ken Kuranchie and the judges on one hand and Atta Akyea and the justices on the other, Kuranchie was found guilty not only for being contemptuous but also for showing no remorse at all for his comments, a sharp contrast to another contemnor, Stephen Atubiga, who sang a chorus of apology and cursed himself for being irresponsible.

Atta Akyea is convinced the judges? decision was perverse and an affront to justice.

??I do not see why anybody will say I have formed an opinion. I think you are in contempt of the court come and prostrate and let me change my mind whether to sentence you or not.

?What is the meaning of what happened? Even I as counsel, some people believe that o, when you go in there, go and lie down and let people see that you have repented. That is repentance exacted through coercion.

Atta Akyea disagreed vehemently with the view that he misled his client.

?How can I be misleading my client when the judges had formed an opinion that it doesn?t matter. I just made my opening statement and I have not even come to the point of trying to show why it happened and the question came [from the judge] that are you trying to justify what he?s done. If you have formed an opinion already then why do you try to give the pretense that his explanation matters. It?s an explanation of no consequence and you don?t see this as an affront to justice?

?That at the end of the day it?s somebody being happy that another man has begged him that will determine the penal consequences that he will have. What kind of justice is that,? he snapped.

He said the conduct of the judges gave the impression that the man had been condemned already and was there to be sentenced by the judges.

?I was going to let the judges know that if they pay due regard to what the man had said and offence they had presumed but they won?t even let the lawyer talk. How much more the poor man?

?That is how come a man is fumbling and people were very happy and laughing.

?Are you calling somebody to come and intimidate him into submission so that you have mercy on him.

?Is it a mercy chamber or justice chamber? He asked.

He was unequivocal that the justices erred in the case of Kwaku Boateng, and that was made manifest because the contemnor was allowed to explain his position.

Atta Akyea said if the justices did anything at all, they undermined the principle of justice.

When he was reminded to be measured by Samson Lardy Ayenini, host of the programe, Atta Akyea said he has been measured that is why a judge would ask him if he has read his law on contempt.

But the former Attorney General in the NPP administration Ayikoi Otoo who was also on the show disagreed with Atta Akyea.

He said every lawyer has a fundamental duty to protect his client from being jailed and would have to do everything, even if it means begging.

Quoting Article 164 of the constitution, Ayikoi Otoo said the judges were right in their verdict against Kuranchie.



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