Special Prosecutor nominee, Martin Amidu, has sent a clear signal that his objective as Special Prosecutor, if approved, will be the retrieval of funds that have been embezzled by public officials and not necessarily having them imprisoned.
“What is the use imprisoning him if you can’t get the monies back? If he agrees to get the monies back only for a conviction and probation, I think that is better for the nation than imprisoning him 10 years, feed him 10 years, give him prison clothing and if he is grown he will have chronic conditions and be sending him to hospital…If you will bring part of the money back or all of it and it is reasonable, that is the thing I like about this section so that those who think that the office is just to be there locking people left, right and centre will realise that the office will act reasonably and it is only cases that are in the national interest after investigation to prosecute that will be prosecuted but when people realise their faults and agree to pay reparation why not? Even God forgives how much more us?” Mr Amidu told Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Tuesday, February 13.
The former Attorney General, in assuring the committee that the Office of the Special Prosecutor will not be abused, explained that: “We should go back and look at the offences the Special Prosecutor can prosecute. Out of the 10 offences listed with the general provision of other offences six of them are misdemeanours, two are felonies, two are unclassified. So for me the issue is not necessarily wanting to fill Nsawam with people”.
For him, it is important to institute measures to reduce the number of people in prison to prevent using scarce state resources on feeding, medical care and other necessities of inmates.
“This plea bargaining thing has a good incentive. If people want to make reparation for the consideration of the court and go and sin no more the office will have to take into consideration all the grounds upon which reparation must be accepted and the reparation must be reasonable because it will come to the knowledge of the people of this country,” he emphasised.