Ghana Judges Challenge Suspension Over Bribery Claims

Ghana's Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood

A group of Ghanaian judges allegedly caught on camera asking for bribes has filed a legal challenge to their suspension.

Of the 22 suspended lower court judges, 14 have filed a writ to the high court, saying the judicial council's investigations have no basis in law.

Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas conducted a two-year undercover investigation into the judges.

It is the biggest scandal in the history of Ghana's judiciary.

The 14 judges say they were suspended before they had seen the evidence and given their responses.
Their comments on the allegations themselves have not yet been made public.

However, one lower court judge has been cleared because he was incorrectly identified on the undercover video, says the BBC's Sammy Darko in the capital, Accra.

Justice Frank Addo Ashitey is now demanding an apology.

The undercover report also allegedly implicates 12 high court judges.

They have until Monday to submit their written responses to the accusations.

Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood will then examine their responses before deciding whether to open a formal investigation into the accusations, in which case, they would also be suspended, our correspondent says.

Mr Anas says he has nearly 500 hours of video evidence on tape, which had been handed over to the chief justice.

The attorney-general has granted him immunity under the whistle-blower act to pursue the story.

Correction 12 September 2015: This story has been amended to make clear that only one lower court judge, not three, has been cleared because of mistaken identity, following a statement released by the chief justice on the evening of 11 September naming all the judges implicated.

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