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Special Prosecutor bill opened for suggestions – Minister

By
Kwamina Tandoh/Bridget Denteh, GNA

Accra June 28, GNA – Madam Gloria Akuffo, the
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, says the Special Prosecutor Bill
would implore the contributions and recommendations of stakeholders to shape
the legislation before it is presented to Parliament.

She said the office was a new addition to the
institutional architecture for fighting corruption, which would be devoid of
political affiliations.

She said this at a closing ceremony of a
two-day workshop organised by her Ministry in Accra to solicit for ideas on the
Bill. 

The event workshop brought together lawyers,
legal luminaries and drafters of legislation and discussed topics such as
Assets Confiscation, Getting Value for Money, Overview of the Draft Bill of the
Office of the Special Prosecutor and Complaints, Proceeds of Corruption and
Corruption Related Offences.’

The Bill is a step towards the fulfilment of
the New Patriotic Party’s campaign promise to establish an Office of the
Special Prosecutor (OSP) and is expected to with a legal backbone, full authority,
and control over litigation, prosecution and conduct of proceedings involving
cases of corruption implicating political office holders and high-ranking
government officials. 

The OSP would have the mandate to investigate
and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 2003
Act 663 and other corruption related offences implicating public officers,
political office holders, and their accomplices in the public sector as well as
trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.

She commended the stakeholders for their
insightful contribution on the bill.

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, a Professor of
Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey, in an interview with
the Ghana News Agency said the goal was to create an office that gains the
confidence of the Ghanaian as a credible, independent anti-corruption body and
also institutional.

He said: “The real challenge had always been
the power of the Attorney General who has complete control of prosecution in
the country, which has been a challenge. 

“The challenge is to ensure that the office is
given enough institutional cover, professionalism, and resources that will
boost performance,” he said.

Participants suggested that a website should
be created to inform the public and in order not to make the work of the
Special Persecutor cumbersome there must be a secretariat which would work
under the OSP to recover assets, do administrative work and also initiate
investigations.

GNA

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