The late Major Mahama
Two defence counsel in the trial of 14 persons accused of the murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama yesterday spent hours grilling Dr. Lawrence Edusei, a Specialist Pathologist, who performed an autopsy on the body of the slain soldier.
The lawyers in their cross-examination questioned the doctor about why he watched the viral video which captured the moment the late Major Mahama was lynched by an angry mob.
It was the contention of the lawyers that the video influenced Dr. Edusei in his conclusion on the cause of death of the deceased.
Dr. Lawrence Edusei led in his evidence-in-chief by Evelyn Keelson, a Chief State Attorney, had told the court how pellets were found in some parts of the body of the soldier who was lynched by an angry mob at Denkyira Obuasi (now New Obuasi) in the Central Region.
The doctor also told the court how the deceased had multiple burns on parts of the body, covering about 54 per cent of the total body surface.
Apart from the pellets and burns, the court also heard that the body of the deceased had multiple cuts as well as fractured chest bones.
The doctor told the court that the cause of death was multiple head injuries due to blunt object and shot guns which are unnatural causes of death.
Counsel maintained that the pathologist could not have arrived at his conclusions independently as the doctor had been shown the video recording of the lynching.
Dr. Edusei, however, insisted that he had already written his initial findings prior to watching the video and the cause of death remained the same even after watching it.
A counsel, Theophilus Donkor, then asked the doctor the purpose of watching the video after he had done the autopsy.
“After my initial cause of death report had gone out. The new investigators realized that I have added gunshot injury as the cause of death. When I was subpoenaed to court, I said there was a need for me to meet them because I had tasked the first investigator to do something for me. I never saw him again. The new investigators then arranged to meet me in my office. That’s the time they showed me the video,” Dr. Edusei explained.
Another counsel, Augustine Gyamfi, also asked the doctor what information he was looking for in the video and the doctor said, “My lord I had finished the post mortem; I had written my findings. I had a preliminary report. The video was to point to them that a gun was used.”
A third counsel, Kwame Owusu, asked the doctor whether post mortem reports generally are ‘conclusive’ such that another pathologist cannot arrive at a different conclusion and Dr. Edusei said “arriving at a different conclusion is possible.”
BY Gibril Abdul Razak