General News of Monday, 5 March 2018
The family of a murdered soldier, Maxwell Adam Mahama, has expressed concerns about the number of persons charged in the dastardly murder of their son at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central region in May 2017.
Family spokesperson, Zakaria Ahmed, described the 14 charged in the criminal trial as “few”.
He told the media after the court adjourned Monday, that close to 50 persons can be seen in the video footage that captured the gruesome lynching of the solider, Major Mahama.
“You have mob justice, mob action, we expect to have a mob trial. Let them come to the court and come and explain their presence at the scene”, Zakaria Ahmed said.
The 14 accused are standing trial at the Accra High Court after a lower court, Accra Central District Court found enough evidence to okay a trial.
More than 50 were first arrested but after investigations, 22 were arraigned on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The state prosecutors dropped charges against eight for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the charges.
Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson, who secured a conviction against a top government official barely two weeks ago, is handling the case.
Evelyn Keelson has tendered in 53 exhibits for the trial including forensic reports, post-mortem report on the deceased, video recordings, two single-barrelled shot guns, a six-inch cement block and a partly burnt shirt.
The rest are one clog pistol, an iPhone, a metal bar, a stone, two pellets, one empty cartridge, seven rounds of ammunition and photograph of the crime scene.
At the full trial at the Accra High Court, the family of the late Major made their first appearance in court.
Led by father of the late soldier, Captain Rtd Dennis Mahama together with their lawyers, the family sat in the courtroom as the wheel of justice began the first grind towards retribution.
The spokesperson said the family would like some expedition in the trial but concedes they cannot be sentimental in the trial of the suspects.
“We see it as slow but there is nothing that we can do so we have to go by it,” he said.
“Our sentiments are our sentiments. The law is the law. Even though this is what we wish, the law says otherwise, even though we saw close to 50 people, the law says only 14 people will face trial…so we will take it like that”
Fourteen persons are currently standing trial at the High Court but a lack of legal representation for five of them caused the case to suffer an adjournment on Monday, JoyNews Joseph Ackah Blay reported.
While some of them told the court they have no family members to assist them to secure legal representation, others said all efforts to reach a lawyer to contract has proved unsuccessful.
Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson, said the state was ready to proceed but agreed it was important for all 14 to have legal representation.
Six of the accused persons have George Bernard Shaw as their lawyer with Augustine Gyamfi representing three of the accused persons.