Former attorney general, Martin Amidu, has described the jailing of the Montie 3 by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
Montie FM presenter, Salifu Maase, aka, ‘Mugabe’, and panellists Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn were jailed for four months for threatening to kill judges.
In an opinion piece published on citifmonline.com on Wednesday, Mr Amidu said while the Supreme Court had the power to commit people for contempt, it erred this time because the alleged offence was committed outside the court.
According to the anti-corruption campaigner who is one of Ghana's most respected legal voices, the jailing of the three contravened several articles of the constitution.
“The inquisitorial Star Chambers method of ancient Britain by which the accused were brought before and tried by the Court was clearly inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 12, 14(1), 19(2), 21(1), and 33(5) of the 1992 constitutionc” he said.
Mr Amidu went on to express support for calls for the Montie 3 to be pardoned.
“In my respectful view the most objective justification for the exercise of the power of mercy in this case is that the court by adopting an unconstitutional procedure in convicting and imprisoning the contemnors, in one fell swoop, deprived them of any right of an appeal or a review of the decision of the Court.
“As for the argument that it will be an interference with the independence of the judiciary to grant any pardon, I will like the proponents of that doctrine to tell the whole world which exercise of the president’s powers of pardon cannot be said to be an interference with judicial independence in the sense that it pardons convictions and/or sentences already imposed in exercise of the Court’s judicial power. That is why it is a prerogative of mercy,” he said.
Meanwhile, a petition book opened by the Progressive People's Party (PPP) aimed at pressuring President John Mahama not to grant pardon to Montie 3 has been stolen.