Lawyer for two of the 14 persons standing trial for the gruesome lynching of the late Major Maxwell Mahama, has asked the prosecution to replace the charge of murder with manslaughter against the accused persons.
According to him, the accused who have been charged with conspiracy, abetment of crime and murder were only defending themselves against the late soldier who had a gun on him when he was cornered and brutally assaulted by the youth of Denkyira Obuasi, now New Obuasi, who mistook him for an armed robber.
Theophilus Donkor, the lawyer, in his closing address to a seven-member jury, indicated that there was a report of gun firing by Major Mahama, which was also confirmed by one of the prosecution witnesses.
It was his view that the accused persons who were captured on video brutally battering the late soldier with clubs, cement blocks and a gun, acted in self defence.
He, therefore, urged the jury to acquit and discharge the accused persons because the prosecution has not been reliable in its case.
Mr. Donkor also told the jury that the prosecution’s video evidence which captured the accused persons attacking the deceased cannot stand the test of the Evidence Act and should be disregarded.
He also told the jury that none of the 14 prosecution witnesses led any credible evidence to link his clients to the offence.
Another defence lawyer, Seidu Nasigri, also casted doubt on the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, indicating some of them “told blanket lies.”
Major Mahama was the captain of the 31-member military team sent to the town to guard the properties of C&G Mining Company as a result of illegal mining activities in the area.
William Baah, the then Assemblyman for the area, is standing trial for abetment of murder while the other 13 are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and substantive charge of murder.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been in prison custody since the commencement of the trial in 2018.
The other accused persons are Bernard Asamoah, alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame aka Abortion, Charles Kwaning aka Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor, John Bosie, Akwasi Asante, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.
The Office of the Attorney General on May 16, 2022, closed its case in the trial of the 14 persons who allegedly lynched the late Major Maxwell Mahama at New Obuasi in the Central Region in 2017.
The prosecution during the presentation of its case called 14 witnesses who gave various accounts of what happened on the day and what they witnessed.
Frances Mullen Ansah, a Chief State Attorney, during one of the proceedings led the case investigator in evidence when the court played the horrifying videos which captured the accused persons lynching the deceased.
Eleven of the accused persons opened their defence and denied the charges against them while three; Kofi Nyame, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima, waived their rights to mount a defence.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak