The trial of two teenage boys who allegedly killed an 11-year-old boy at Kasoa last year for money rituals is set to commence following the empaneling of a seven-member panel by the trial court to hear the case.
The accused persons (names withheld) prior to the empaneling of the jury had their pleas taken and while they all pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, one of them believed to be the prime suspect pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit murder. The court, however, entered a plea of not guilty for him.
Each of the accused persons during the empaneling rejected three prospective jurors as allowed by law. The court, however, was able to put together the five-member panel made up of five women and two men.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the presiding judge, told members of the jury they are expected to be present in court at all times to listen, to see and hear the witnesses that will be called by the prosecution in their quest to establish the guilt of the accused persons.
“You are not supposed to be influenced by anything you hear or see in relation to this matter on social media or the society. You are only bound by the evidence that you hear or see in this courtroom,” she explained.
Justice Marfo also urged the jury to comport themselves inside and outside of the courtroom and must not be influenced with money or any other consideration whatsoever.
“No discussion about the case in which you are involved outside of this courtroom. The court expects maximum cooperation from you as far as timing and dates are concerned,” she stated.
She added that the court will not hesitate to apply the needed legal sanction to any recalcitrant juror. The case was adjourned to October 24, 2022, for the prosecution and defence lawyers to address the jury.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered the case investigator to file their findings on an alibi pleaded by one of the accused persons before the next court date.
The two teenagers were committed by a Kaneshie Magistrate Court in August last year, after it found that there was enough evidence for them to stand trial for the alleged murder of Ishmael Mensah Abdallah.
The court, during the committal proceedings, was shocked when one of the teenagers ‘confessed’ that they killed a pregnant woman prior to the gruesome killing of 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdallah for money rituals.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak