Lawyers, accused persons shocked at video of Major Mahama’s brutal murder

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“Jesus!”

That was the reaction of a female lawyer at the Bar when the videos that detail the alleged murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was played in open court yesterday.

At the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court yesterday, two video clips, which are part of the evidence-in-chief of the 14th prosecution witness, Chief Inspector Samuel Agyakwa, were played for the accused persons, their counsel and the jury.

The showing of the videos brings the murder trial to a critical stage, as the prosecution intends to buttress its case against the 14 accused persons by identifying the accused persons in the video and their alleged acts that led to the murder of the then serving military officer.

Videos.

The first video lasted five minutes, 20 seconds, while the second lasted about a minute and six seconds.

The voices captured in the clips spoke in Akan and they were heard saying: “Kill him, kill him” (translated into English).

Some individuals were seen in the videos throwing building bricks and logs at the military officer.

More people were seen rushing to the scene as Major Mahama, who was running for his life, was pursued with heavy sticks and building bricks.
The attack then intensified, with life gradually fizzing out of the military officer.

More building bricks, slaps and sticks landed on his head and stomach, after which he was dragged on the ground to a bushy area.

Other people were then heard shouting: “Burn him.”

While the female lawyer reacted audibly, the courtroom was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.

It was difficult to read the reaction or emotions of the jurors, as their face masks made it impossible to read their facial expressions, nor could their body language be read, as they sat still throughout the period, focused on the video.

Some of the accused persons and their counsel tried hard not to show any emotion, with their hands on their chins and their heads with their eyes fixated on the video.

Objection.

After the two videos had been played, a slow motion effect was applied to enable the jury watch the video closely, after which a slide show, showing close-up shots of the “perpetrators” of the act in the video, was also shown.

The prosecution, led by a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, sought to continue the examination-in-chief of the witness after the video had been played.

However, one of the defence counsel, Mr Theophilus Donkor, raised an objection that some expressions in the video were in Twi, for which reason the court needed to arrange for an interpreter to transcribe those expressions, since the language for conducting the case was English.

He further argued that the jurors understood only English and urged the court to transcribe the expressions in Twi to English.

Another defence counsel, Mr George Bernard Shaw, also objected to the prosecution’s decision to lead its witness to identify the persons.

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Counsel argued that the witness was not at the scene where the incident took place and so asking him to identify the people in the video would amount to “excessive commentary” and coaching of the jury.

The prosecution opposed the objection, saying it had no merit.
Mrs Keelson argued that the witness had previously given testimony in court, indicating what the accused persons did in the video.

The court, presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, a justice of the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court judge, dismissed the objection raised by the defence counsel.

The case was adjourned to April 19, 2021, this year, when the state attorney would continue with the examination-in-chief of Chief Inspector Agyakwa on a photo album he prepared on the accused persons who were identified in the video.

Facts.

Major Mahama was killed at Denkyira Obuasi on May 29, 2017.
He was said to have been lynched during a morning walk that led him to Denkyira Obuasi
A video recording of how he was supposedly lynched went viral on various social media platforms.

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

Others are Bernard Asamoah, alias Daddy; Kofi Nyarko, aka Abortion Akwasi Baah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi and Michael Anim. The rest are Bismark Donkor, John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismark Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.

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

Source: Graphic online.

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Citizen Atare is a Ghanaian who hails from the Upper East Region. He is an ICT professional working at the University of Ghana, Legon. Citizen Atare is an amateur freelance writer and blogger for over 20 years, who likes to research into everyday lifestyle issues and situations, politics, and cultural practices to write about to educate and also entertain his readers. He is a highly creative and motivated, highly inquisitive, open minded and to an extent risk-taking with a high visual acumen. He is a dreamer who isn’t afraid to break creative barriers. He is also a passionate aviation, tech and motoring enthusiast with a lot of knowledge to share and a private researcher. He has no formal education or certificate in journalism, but the hunger to know more and do more, backed by an impressive work portfolio is what drives him to write the things he knows best for his numerous online fans. Citizen Atare is married to Margaret and they both live in Accra with their lovely daughter Zoey. His hobbies include reading, listening to very good music; especially jazz, writing, watching action, sci-fi and adventure movies, travel and site seeing and swiming. He likes eating fufu and palm nut soup, but prefers boiled rice and kontomire stew with agushie more. Contact: pnawurah@gmail.com

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