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Arthur Kennedy

Arthur Kennedy surprised over Atuguba’s warning on ‘contemptuous’ letter to judges

Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, a former Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party says he is surprised at the warning from Justice William Atuguba, to desist from writing letters to the court hearing the Election Petition.

In an open letter to the Court last June, the former NPP presidential aspirant said: “While your power to cite people for contempt is not in dispute, the context of the exercise of that power is troubling”.

Justice William Atuguba, the presiding judge opened Day 42 of the Election Petition hearing with another warning that writing to a judge on a matter pending in court is contemptuous.

The leading member of the NPP spoke on to react. The letter was borne out of his best intentions, he explained.

The “Country Docto” suggested his personal understanding of contempt. “It has something to do with obstructing the work of the court or bringing the membership of the panel into disrepute”, he humbly submitted.

He said he found it difficult that his respectful suggestion meant to help the court to expeditiously deal with the case could be contemptuous.

“We are all equal under the law”, he reminded.

He said the members of the panel were of good judgment enough not to take the letter contemptuously.

He suggested that Atuguba had seen “the wisdom” of his suggestion not to pay attention to media reports on the hearing.

This, he said, was because the presiding judge was at pains as to determine the court’s reaction to Sir John’s commentary that has also cited him for possible contempt.

Samson Lardy, a lawyer said a letter directed at the court’s judicial decisions may be contemptuous. It would not, if it was directed at the court’s administrative work, he suggested.

“Any intervention which is not a proper legal process to invoke the jurisdiction of the court is an attempt to interfere with what they do”, he explained.