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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Source: GNA

Maj. Mahama trial: Statement was not imposed on accused person - Witness

The trial has been adjourned to May 24, 2021 for continuation. The trial has been adjourned to May 24, 2021 for continuation.

Mr Seth Nyarko, the Second Court Witness in the trial involving 14 suspects in the murder of the late Major Maxwell Mahama has said no statement was imposed on the accused person.
“It is not true the statement was imposed on Charles Kwaning,” he said.

The mini-trial was a result of objections from the Defence Counsel to the tendering of some caution and charge statements taken from the accused persons.

Mr Bernard Shaw, Counsel for the first, second, fourth, eighth, 10th and the 12th accused persons objected initially to the tendering of statements of his clients, saying they were not voluntarily taken from them.

Mr Theophilus Donkor, Defence Counsel for the 3rd and the 14th accused person, also objected to the tendering of the statements.

Mr Nyarko, who was an independent witness when the statement was taken from the accused persons gave his evidence pertaining to whether the statement was given by the accused voluntarily or not and was subsequently cross-examined by the defence.

The witness told the Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, a Supreme Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court judge that, he had been working with the Ghana Police Service for 20 years.

He said it was Detective Chief Inspector Samuel Agyakwa, the investigator in the case, who called him to serve as an independent witness in the case.

Mr Nyarko said before the statement was taken from the accused person, the investigator cautioned Charles and asked whether he could write himself but he said the investigator should write while he narrated what happened.

The witness said after the statement was written, the content was read to him, which he endorsed by thumb printing in agreement, which was done voluntarily.

“He gave the statement to the Police without fear or any intimidation, while speaking the Twi language which was translated into writing in English,” he added.

A copy of the statement was shown to the witness in open Court, which he identified together with his signatures.

During cross-examination by Mr Augustine Gyamfi, Counsel for the accused, Kwaning, asked the witness, how many times he had served as an independent witness which he said was many times.

Counsel alleged that because the witness was in ‘bed’ with the Police, he needed not be there to witness, but Mr Nyarko disagreed.

Mr Theophilus Donkor, a Defence Counsel for the 3rd and the 14th accused persons asked the witness what his rank was but the witness said he did not have a rank and that he was a supervisor in charge of civilian employees of the Service.

The witness disagreed with the Counsel that he was not an employee of the Service, hence, he was encouraged to bring along to court his payslip at the next adjourned date.

Mr Nyarko again disagreed with Mr Donkor that he was an informant for the Ghana Police Service.

Fourteen persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court over the killing of Major Mahama, who was an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion at Burma Camp.

The late Major was on duty at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when on May 29, 2017, some residents allegedly mistook him for an armed robber and lynched him.

The mob had allegedly ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The accused persons are William Baah, the Assemblymember of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor.
The rest are: John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.

The trial has been adjourned to May 24, 2021, for continuation.

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