The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the disclosure of the Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the United States of America on the resettlement of the two ex-Guantanamo detainees in the country, did not violate section 1 of the State Secrets Act 1962 (Act 101) as the Attorney-General’s Department has claimed.
Mr. Justice William Atuguba who presided over the five-member panel of judges said that though the Agreement referred to as “Note Verbales” in the Diplomatic circles and earlier shown to the court in camera by the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Dominic Ayinne was confidential, its (Agreement) disclosure was for the exclusive consumption of the Court and not for public consumption.
He, therefore, directed the counsel for the plaintiffs, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah and lawyers in the AG’s Department to file their memorandum of issues for the case to take its normal course.
No specific date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit filed by Mrs. Margaret Banful and Henry Nana Boakye against President John Dramani Mahama for accepting Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammed Salid Al-Dhuby in Ghana without seeking parliamentary approval after their release from the Guantanamo Bay Camp in Cuba.
The three-member team of lawyers representing the state in the matter was led by Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, Chief State Attorney.
Nana Baffour Awuah (counsel for plaintiffs) who was obviously elated by the ruling of the court said it was a victory for democracy and rule of law.
The plaintiffs in their suit have described the “Gitmo 2” as high profiled terrorists whose presence or stay in Ghana posed a national security threat and are pleading with the court to order the Attorney-General and the Ministry of the Interior to return them to either Cuba or America.
According to them the president’s actions were in contravention of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573) as stipulated in Article 58 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and breaking of the Presidential Oath.
The honourable judges have started their Judicial vacation and would resume in October.
By Castro Zangina-Tong