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Ghana suspends top judges over corruption

A number of Ghanaian high court judges accused of accepting bribes have been ordered from the bench. The anti-corruption sweep follows an investigative documentary on the judiciary.

Ghana's government suspended seven out of 12 high court judges on Monday in the wake of allegations of bribery stemming from an investigative film.

The documentary, which showed judges accepting bribes through intermediaries, has put Chief Justice Georgina Wood and other judicial figures under pressure to show a forceful public response.

"Their suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case of stated misbehavior against them by the Hon. Lady Chief Justice (Wood)," said a statement from the Judicial Service, announcing a decision by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

It comes after

22 circuit judges and magistrates were suspended

, and 12 high court judges were placed under investigation, after they were accused of being bought off.

Some of the judges accused of wrongdoing have challenged the charges in court, saying their suspension had no legal basis because documents relating to the video that were submitted by the journalist were not made available to them.

Many of the cases against the judges and magistrates were outlined in

a documentary film

. Hundreds of Ghanaians flocked to watch a September 22 public screening in Accra of the incriminating footage shot by the journalist.

Some of the judges implicated had tried in vain to block the broadcast.

jar/jr (AFP, Reuters)

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