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General News of Thursday, 17 January 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Major Mahama’s 'killers' trial: Defence lawyers accuse witness of being untruthful

Lawyers for the 14 people standing trial for the murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region have accused a prosecution witness of being untruthful.

The lawyers for the accused made the claim when they cross-examined the witness yesterday at the Accra High Court, presided over by Mrs. Justice Mariama Owusu, a justice of the Court of Appeal with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.

The fifth prosecution witness, Solomon Sackey, last Tuesday testified before the court that he saw four of the accused — Bernard Asamoah, aka Daddy, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Akwasi Baah, taking active part in the killing of the military officer.

According to him, he was home working in his carpentry shop on the day of the incident when he heard that residents of the village had apprehended a robber. He said he got hold of a stick and rushed to the scene with the intention of hitting the said robber with it.

But, upon seeing the anguish in which the robber was he changed his mind and had pity on him and thereafter made an attempt to prevent the others from beating him further.

The witness said in the process of restraining the mob, he got injured in the hand and decided, therefore, to move away to attend to his injury.

He said he got to know later that the man who was lynched was a soldier and that there were soldiers on their way to the village and so he fled to Bogoso.

According to him, a friend called, later on, to inform him that there was a video of the incident making the rounds and that those found in the video had been asked to surrender to the police and so he turned himself into the police.

“You were part of the killers”

During the cross-examination, one of the defense counsels, Mr. Bernard Shaw, told the witness that it was not true that he (witness) wanted to save Major Mahama, but rather he took an active part in the lynching.

“I am suggesting to you that you got hit by the stick because of your intense involvement in the lynching,’’ Mr. Shaw said.

“No, my intention was to help him,’’ the witness answered.

Counsel then stated that the witness was one of eight other suspects who were set free by a District Court due to an application by the prosecution, and therefore, he was ready to do anything to support the prosecution’s case.

“You know that testifying would get you your freedom,’’ Mr. Shaw said.

“No, that’s not true, I am testifying in respect of what I saw on that day,’’ he said.

Mr. Theophilus Donkor, another defense counsel, made similar accusations against the witness.

The cross-examination will continue on January 29, 2019, at the court.

Background

Major Mahama was killed at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region on May 29, 2017.

He is said to have been lynched during a morning walk that led him to Denkyira Obuasi.

Fourteen people, including William Baah, a former Assembly Member of Denkyira Obuasi, are standing trial in connection with the death of the military officer.

They have all pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from murder, abetment to murder and conspiracy to commit murder.