In the ongoing trial regarding the controversial €2.37 million ambulance saga, former Health Minister Alex Segbefia refused to testify as a witness, leaving the court and the prosecution surprised.
The Minority Leader, Casiel Ato Forson, had intended to call Mr Segbefia as his third witness, but his absence was noted.
Ato Forson’s lawyer, Edudzi Tameklo, informed the court that they would be calling no further witnesses and were closing their case. This signaled the end of Dr. Ato Forson’s defense, and the trial moved on to the second accused, former Chief Director of the Health Ministry, Dr. Sylvester Anemana.
Dr. Anemana has now initiated his defense in Financial and Economic Court 2.
The judge stated that since the first accused had closed their case, the second accused would proceed with presenting their defense.
There was no objection from the lawyers of the first and third accused regarding the witness statement filed by Dr. Anemana.
This allowed state attorneys to cross-examine him.
In his witness statement, Dr. Anemana claimed that he was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and was not involved in the processes leading to the ambulance purchase after leaving the health ministry.
He further stated that he retired from the service in September 2015, prior to the ambulances being purchased, and did not believe there was any financial loss to the state in a contract that has yet to materialize.
Dr. Anemana also clarified that Ato Forson was not the deputy minister of finance at the time he wrote the contract letters for sole sourcing.
This was in response to Ato Forson’s lawyers questioning his involvement in the contract.
After the cross-examination, lawyers for the first accused concluded that Ato Forson played no role in the contract, further supporting their defense.
Regarding the third accused, his lawyers informed Dr. Anemana that the €15.8 million for the ambulances was actually a loan secured from Stanbic.
This information was affirmed by Dr. Anemana.
Dr. Anemana stated that the process of securing the loan began while he was still at the health ministry.
The third accused also informed Dr. Anemana that no money was directly paid to his client until a high court directed so.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Dr. Anemana made an application for an amendment of his bail terms to allow for medical treatment in India.
However, the judge questioned the merit of the application and ultimately rejected it.
Mr. Owuradu, Dr. Anemana’s lawyer, withdrew the application with hopes of resubmitting it later.
The judge also struck out the application seeking the release of Dr. Anemana’s passport.