Richard Jakpa, the second accused person standing trial alongside Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, on Tuesday, June 20, received a stern warning from the court against engaging in acts that amount to contempt.

The warning followed outbursts by the CEO of Big Sea Trading LLC who is standing trial together with the Minority Leader for counts of causing financial loss to the state.

It all happened when the accused person was nearly prevented from using the washroom while proceedings were ongoing. During cross-examination of the first witness of Dr Forson, Richard Jakpa attempted to leave the courtroom for the washroom but a hesitant Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe allowed him to use the washroom within the courtroom.

Afterwards, the judge offered sanitiser to Jakpa, but he expressed frustration at the judge for initially preventing him from using the washroom.

This outburst angered Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, who took offence to the accused’s actions and deemed them contemptuous.

She cautioned Jakpa against repeating such behaviour and warned that she would exercise her powers freely if he did.

“How dare you speak to the court like that? This should be the very last time you will show disrespect to the court, if you do, I will fully use my powers,” the Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge said furiously.

Meanwhile, the first accused person, Cassiel Ato Forson has opened his defence with a subpoenaed witness, an officer of the Stanbic Bank, which was approached by the Government of Ghana to issue letters of credit for the purchase of some 200 ambulances.

In his testimony, the witness who said he worked on the letters of credit as required by the government revealed that the deal between the government, however, did not materialise.

He noted that he did not have the full reflection of events and will require a month to get some of the documents relating to the deal which have been sent to their archive.

But Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe who did not see the relevance of the documents refused the request saying it will unduly delay the trial.

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