General News of Tuesday, 17 April 2018
An Accra High Court hearing the case involving the alleged murderers of the late Major Maxwell Mahama was unable to empanel a jury for the second time so as to commence the trial.
The court was unsuccessful because some of the potential jurors presented by the court said they were uncomfortable being part of the trial.
At the last adjourned date the Judicial Service presented 14 potential jurors out of which seven would have to be selected but the accused together with their lawyers rejected eight of them and accepted six, made up of two females and four males.
When the case was called on Monday, another set of potential jurors were presented, one of them however, said she had a call from the Court’s Registrar that if she fails to come to court, a bench warrant would be issued to arrest and bring her to the Court; hence, she was not comfortable to be part of the proceedings.
The potential jurors, therefore, prayed the Court to excused them from being part of the jury but the Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu declined and asked them to explain what they meant by being uncomfortable, adding “this is a national assignment and l do not know what you mean by l am not comfortable.”
“If we start and you give the Court a cause to issue bench warrant, we will,” the Judge said.
The Court, then went ahead to select one potential juror to complement the already selected six jurors to form the jury but unfortunately, one of jurors who had already been selected also presented a letter praying the Court to be excused her.
The Prosecution team together with the counsels of the accused prayed the Court to excuse that juror who was a lady since her demeanour showed that she was not interested and this might have a negative impact on the trial.
The court, therefore excused the lady and adjourned the case to April 25 to enable the Court find someone to complement the number.
Under the country’s legal system, an accused has the right to raise objection three times without stating reasons but beyond that any other objection must be backed by a concrete explanation.
The state has indicated that it had gathered 53 pieces of incriminating evidence, including videos, pictures against the 14 persons.
The accused persons are William Baah, the Assemblyman of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyarko aka Abortion, Akwasi Baah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor.
Others are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.
The 14 accused persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court for the death of the Major Mahama, an Officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion at the Burma Camp who was on duty at Dankyira-Obuasi, when on May 29, he was lynched by some residents, who allegedly mistook him for an armed robber because he had a pistol in his back pocket.
The mob ignored his consistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.