20 judges sacked in Ghana after corruption sting

2015-12-08 09:00
Police retreat in Accra after firing teargas at protesters angry over alleged vote-rigging. (AFP)

Police retreat in Accra after firing teargas at protesters angry over alleged vote-rigging. (AFP)

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Accra, Dec 7, 2015 (AFP) -Twenty judges implicated in a high-profile investigation into bribe-taking in Ghana have been sacked, the country's Judicial Council announced Monday.

The dismissals came after hearings before a five-member disciplinary committee appointed by Ghana's chief justice Georgina Wood focusing on undercover footage shot by a local newspaper.

Twenty-two lower court judges and magistrates were initially identified as well as 12 high court judges in a case that has rocked the west African nation.

All were suspended pending the investigation. One judge among the 21 lower court judges was removed after being mistakenly named as part of the probe.

The Judicial Council said in a statement that it had followed through on its pledge that "no one will be spared the appropriate sanctions where culpability is clearly established."

"Those removed with benefits were remorseful when they appeared before the committee and apologised profusely to the people of Ghana and the judiciary for bringing the name of the institution into disrepute by their conduct," it added.

A decision is pending on the fate of the high court judges.

The footage purported to show the judges and more than 100 court officials accepting money from clients for everything from appointments to giving false rulings.

Some of those implicated tried to block the broadcast of the undercover film but it was eventually shown to packed crowds, prompting calls for judicial reform.

The journalist behind the expose, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who uses an array of disguises, has become a celebrity in Ghana and was named one of 2015's leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine.

Read more on:    ghana  |  west africa

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