Days after prosecutors complained about the manner in which their first witness, Blamo Koffa, was cross examined by jurors who would decide the fate of former National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Matilda Parker and her comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay, Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ on Wednesday advised members of the panel not to allow themselves to be corrupted.
Judge Dixon’s admonition comes immediately after both prosecutors and defense agreed to allow some members of the jury to seek medical attention at a hospital he did not name.
He also did not name anyone suspected of attempting to influence the panel.
The jurors, through the Jury Management Team, wrote the court on January 7, for permission to allow members of the panel to seek medical attention, said Judge Dixon after returning from a private meeting with both lawyers.
This would be the first time members of the jury have been allowed to leave their underground temporary residence at the Temple of Justice following their selection in November 2015.
Judge Dixon told them that they have worked for 52 days and since the case is ongoing, other working days would be added.
Judge Dixon instructed them not to make phone calls. “Compose yourself because if we receive reports that you made phone calls, your days of work will go free,” he warned.
“Don’t do anything to spoil this case because you and I would stay here until the case is decided. If you get yourselves involved into anything, (it would cause you to be) sent home and subsequently lose your benefits,” he cautioned.
A judicial expert told the Daily Observer that Judge Dixon’s warning was in the right direction because jury tampering is one of the major challenges facing the judiciary.
“Several jurors have been sent to jail for juror tampering, which made it difficult for the parties to allow jury trial during their cases,” the expert added.