The Attorney General has filed criminal charges against former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson. This charges were made on December 23, 2021 alongside two others, for causing financial loss to the state. The prosecution is in relation to the procurement of 200 ambulances by the Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama led government.
Documents filed by the Attorney General office traced the events which led into the alleged crimes to an announcement made in the 2009 State of the Nation Address regarding plans to procure ambulances for the country.
However the former Deputy Finance Minister Ato Forson claimed at a press conference on December 24 2021, that his prosecution for willfully causing financial loss to the State was questionable. He raised concerns that the prosecution is as a result of his stands against the government’s 2022 Budget and Economic Policy especially the opposition to the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-levy).
In respect to the charges now preferred against him, he also insisted that he would not succumb to the prosecution and that he would continue to speak up against government’s bad economic policies.
In a press release on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, signed by a Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Diana Asonaba Dapaah, the Office said the earlier press conference by the former Deputy Finance Minister Ato Forson was “laden with factual misrepresentations and calculated at scandalizing the criminal proceedings pending in the High Court against the Member of Parliament and exposing the Attorney-General to prejudice and hatred”.
According to the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, “investigations into the financial crimes perpetrated against the Republic of Ghana in the matter of the failed purchase of ambulances for the State began in 2017.”
The press release also stated “Further statements were taken from various persons. At that stage, no issue relating to the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government had come up”.
The Attorney General has assured that it will zealously prosecute crimes bordering on abuse of the public purse, the Office in its statement entreats all political commentators and “persons styling themselves as civil society” to refrain from undue public commentary on the prosecution.