Barely 24 hours after claiming journalist Latif Idrissu was not touched by any police officer, the Attorney General’s office is aggressively pursuing settlement talks.
State Attorney, Nancy Rita Twumasi Asiamah, literally begged the court for the case to be put on hold.
“My lady, my instructions are to ask for an adjournment. As we indicated on Monday, we have written to the police to advise them to settle.
“We are yet to get a response and I have been asked to please ask for an adjournment while we pursue that. I am pleading,” she stated.
This did not sit well with trial judge Justice Cynthia Wiredu who pointed out that the case has been outstanding since 2019 and earlier settlement talks had failed.
“Parties even settle cases after judgment. You had the opportunity to settle and failed to do so. The fact that you are pursuing this does not mean I cannot do my work.
“You have your instructions, I also have my work to do. Is it to delay the court? The trial can continue. Any time there is a settlement we can look at that,“ the judge said.
Lawyer for Latif and The Multimedia Group, Samson Lardi Anyenini, told the court that his side was not opposed to the idea of settlement.
His concern was, however, the fact that the case had been delayed unduly.
“Respectfully, as we indicated to the court yesterday, plaintiffs have been amenable to settlement. We only wish that once same is commenced it will be speedy.
“Seeing that the suit has been pending for a very long time. While the first plaintiff, in particular, continues to bear the cost of medical treatment both in Ghana and the USA,“ he stated.
Justice Wiredu urged both sides to pursue the settlement talks without taking entrenched positions.
Mr Anyenini pointed out at this stage that certain comments made by the police were problematic.
He made reference to court documents in which the police had claimed the assaulted journalist was not suffering from any complications.
“Even in the face of clear medical evidence, they claim nothing has happened. Such positions don’t help”, he stated.
Justice Wiredu advised the police to consider getting an independent examiner if necessary.
She stressed that settlement is always the best approach.
The case has been adjourned to March 16, 2023.