Dr. Casiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, wrapped up his argument in the €2.37 million ambulance controversy. He was going to call former Health Minister Alex Segbefia as his third witness during the most recent court session, but Mr. Segbefia was not there.
“The first accused wishes to inform the court that we’re calling no further witness and we’re closing our case,” Dr. Ato Forson’s lawyer, Edudzi Tameklo, informed the court.
The second accused, Dr. Sylvester Alimana, the former chief director of the Health Ministry, has already begun his defense in the Financial and Economic Court 2.
The judge stated, “A1 has closed his case; hence, A2 has been directed to open his defence.”
The witness statement presented by A2 was accepted without objection by the first and third accused’s attorneys, opening the door for state prosecutors to cross-examine the defendants.
In his witness statement, Dr. Alimana said that after leaving the health ministry, he was moved to the Ministry of Environment and was not informed of the procedures leading up to the acquisition of the ambulance.
He told the court that he retired from the Environment ministry. “I retired from the service in September 2015 when some ambulances were purchased. I do not see any financial loss to the state in a contract that hasn’t materialised even until today,” Dr. Alimana stated.
In answer to Ato Forson’s attorneys regarding whether or not Dr. Ato Forson was the deputy finance minister at the time of signing the contract letters for sole sourcing, he (Dr. Alimana) informed the court that Dr. Ato Forson was not the deputy minister for finance prior to his writing the contract letters.
As their cross-examination came to an end, the first accused’s attorneys said Dr. Ato Forson had no involvement in the contract.
Three of the accused’s attorneys told A2 that the 15.8 million euros were a loan for two hundred ambulances that were obtained from Stanbic. That’s what A2 confirmed.
According to Dr. Alimana, the loan application procedure began during his tenure at the health ministry. The third accused told A2 that until a high court ordered it, no money was given directly to his client, Dzakpa.
Attorneys for A2 requested a modification of the bail conditions so that Dr. Alimana may receive medical care in India.
Mr. Owuradu and his attorney withdrew the application in the hopes of resubmitting it later when the court questioned its merits and denied it. The judge denied the request for A2’s passport to be released.