Dery cries foul, petitions CJ over dismissed contempt case

Embattled High Court judge, Justice Uuter P. Dery, has petitioned the Chief Justice to investigate the circumstance leading to the dismissal of a contempt application he issued against Anas Aremeyaw Anas and four others.

The judge who is among 34 others captured on video allegedly taking bribe, initiated contempt proceedings against five persons for publishing transcripts and audio-visual content from the said video, which he is currently challenging in court.

On Tuesday,  the High Court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo struck out the contempt application as being frivolous following Justice Dery’s application which formed the basis of the instant contempt application.

But Justice Dery in the two-paged petition claims a violation of his right to fair hearing of the case because the case was not scheduled for hearing on Tuesday, September 29 but rather on October 12, as per the hearing notice from the Court Registry.

Lawyers for Justice Dery said they were therefore surprised to hear in the media Tuesday afternoon that the said application came up for hearing on their blindside and consequently dismissed by the High Court.

“This came as ab absolute shock to us since the motion paper, the said case is scheduled to be heard on the 12th of October 2015… Our client has also not been served with any hearing notice seeking to change date endorsed on the said motion paper,” the lawyers stated in the petition.

They said information gathered from the court bailiff indicated that four of the respondents in the dismissed contempt application have not yet been served, adding “none of the respondents has till date filed an affidavit in opposition to our application”.

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These, the lawyers contend, “is a clear violation of our client’s right to be heard in court”, hence urged the Chief Justice to look into the issues they have raised for the necessary remedial action to be taken.

Meanwhile, the lawyers say the petition is without prejudice to Justice Dery’s right to appeal the against the High Court’s decision striking out the contempt application against the five persons.

They are  Tiger Eye PI, through its Chief Executive Officer, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the Acting Editor-In-Chief of The New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Samuel Frempong and Ernest Addo, Deputy Editor-In-Chief of the same paper, Chief Executive of Excellence In Broadcasting Group, Kwabena Anokye Adisi and Sulemana Braimah of West Africa Media Foundation.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah\