‘Corrupt judges’ documentary: Anas counts down to premiere date despite lawsuits

Award-winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, is likely to go ahead with the screening of his investigative video documentary that exposes corruption in Ghana’s judiciary despite multiple suits against its broadcast.

The three-hour edited documentary scheduled to premiere at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra on September 22 and 23 hangs in the air following multiple suits seeking to block the broadcast.

But the man, who has been granted immunity from civil and criminal prosecution for his latest work, appears unwavering as he has began counting down to the date of the event.

Anas standing in front of a billboard advertising the premiere of the documentary

He has since September 16, been counting down to the date on his official Facebook account with a series of pictures of a giant billboard in a part of Accra advertising the premiere of the documentary which took him two years to complete.

It is not clear if managers of the venue, Accra International Conference Centre, will allow the use of the facility for the screening of the video as a result of a pending injection case brought against them by one of the judges implicated in the video, Justice U.P Dery.

Justice Dery who is among 34 other judges caught in the video allegedly taking bribes to influence their decisions in cases before them, wants the showing of the video stopped until the final determination of his application.

He claims the showing of the video would prejudice a substantive case he has filed to challenge the said documentary, which he argued, is in breach of his privacy.

A Court of Appeal judge was Friday appointed by the Chief Justice to start hearing all legal suits filed by some of the judges exposed in the documentary involved in underhand dealings in cases before their courts.

Hearing of the various lawsuits starts on Tuesday September 22; the very day the documentary is planned to premiere.  It is likely the applicationfor injunction, being an interlocutory matter, will be the first to be heard when proceedings begin on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Justice Dery has initiated contempt proceedings against Anas and four others for causing to be published on various platforms, transcripts of the audio-visual recording that he said was unlawfully procured in support of a claim of bribery against him.

Again, he contends that despite the lawsuit against the showing of the video, Anas has gone ahead to advertise the premiering of the videos.

Already the debate on whether to show the documentary has been positive. Media, public and social media discussions of the issue have significantly favoured the showing of the video.

In the latest investigation piece by Anas more than 100 judicial staff including 34 judges at the country’s High Courts, the Circuit and District courts were captured on camera taking bribes from litigants whose cases come before them.

It also exposes some of the judges in a sex scandal.

Anas has since petitioned the President John Dramani Mahama, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General to begin impeachment processes to remove the judges found in the video to be taking bribes and extorting money from litigants.

The 12 High Court judges implicated in the video have up to Tuesday, September 22 to submit their responses to allegations of corruption levelled against them.

In the case of the 22 Court judges and Magistrates, a five-member judicial Disciplinary Committee is set up to investigate the allegation against them with the view to establishing a prima facie case against them.

But the Committee was forced to suspend its hearing Friday following a suit filed by 14 of them who are challenging the authority of the Committee on the basis that the Committee is not grounded in law in this instant case.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah/3news.com/Ghana
Follow @steviekgh

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