The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, on Monday stated that dockets on the Menzgold case is almost ready for prosecution to commence.
“I am happy to state that after painstaking investigations, dockets on that financial crime are almost ready for prosecution to commence in earnest, Mr Dame said in a speech he delivered at the Thirty-Ninth International Symposium on Economic Crime, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
The Attorney-General who delivered his speech for the second time at this symposium, the first in 2017 when he was a deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice told the participants made up of judges, law lecturers, and the Mayor of London, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, that the Office of the Attorney-General was prosecuting other high-profile cases involving the offences of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, stealing, corruption, fraud, procurement breaches and money laundering.
Mr Dame told the participants that “these cases have as their sole object the principle of holding public officers to account and involve sums of over $850 million.”
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice stated that the 2017 banking sector crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic shook the foundation of the Ghanaian economy.
He said so far, 20 companies and individuals are being put on trial to deter future occurrence.
Turning his attention to the theme “Selling status – insider crime and abuse,” Mr Dame said economic crimes threaten the prosperity of nations and weaken public confidence in the government of every nation.
He said “They can, not only undermine the values we hold dear as a society but also prop up the kind of authoritarian regimes that wreak havoc in the world. We are acutely aware of the knock-on effect of corruption on human rights internationally and on our efforts to combat environmental damage.”
The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice noted that human rights and nature were the casualties of this system of profiteering, which, in reality, is war by other means.
He said the punishment of corruption requires the establishment of a fair, honest and efficient justice system.
“Thus, the need to strengthen criminal justice must sit right at the top of our developmental agenda. Criminals ought to be deprived of their assets in order to reduce the impact of their actions and the inspiration they serve to others on the continent. Crime must not be rewarding.”
On international effort and cooperation to tackle economic crimes, Mr Dame said the need for states to cooperate in combating the threat of economic crimes was imperative because culprits exploit differences between countries to further their objectives, enriching their organisations, expanding their power and avoiding detection or apprehension.
In Africa, he said the launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), whilst presenting Africa with its greatest opportunity to show to the world the strength of its potential and the entrepreneurial spirit of the people, has unleashed a new set of issues of concern to law enforcement authorities, adding that these take the form of migratory problems, social integration challenges, the good old phenomenon of corruption, money laundering and environmental challenges.
He said the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act989) the Witness Protection Act, 2018 (Act 975)
Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044), Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015), Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1029), State Interests and Governance Authority Act, 2019 (Act 990), and Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047) were some interventions under the current administration to tackle corruption in Ghana.
Mr Dame said the Cambridge symposium has established itself as not just a talk shop but has earned the enviable track record of being a global platform that delivers practical solutions to economically motivated crime and misconduct worldwide.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA