There was silence at the High Court when a video recording showing the gruesome murder of a soldier by a mob was played to jurors and lawyers in a murder trial.
Army Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was in May 2017 said to have been lynched by a mob in the Central Region.
Some 14 persons were charged with the offences of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Chief Inspector Samuel Agyakwa, who is the state’s final witness, presented the video to the court.
The shaky amateur footage commenced with many men in pursuit of an individual. Shouts of ‘thief, thief’ could be heard. The man veered off the tarred road as the number grows behind him. The mob caught up with the man and the attack took off.
Sticks and cement blocks were mainly the weapons of the attack. They hit the fair-looking man many times causing him to fall to the ground. He still moved slowly on the ground but the attack intensified. Stones were dropped, one man approached and grabbed him. He punched the man in the head and abdomen many times.
The man was motionless for a second. A man in a pink shirt moved closer and stood directly above him. He lifted a stone with rough edges and landed it on the head of the motionless man.
This caused him to move and within seconds his forehead was covered with blood. Another man wearing a black Lacoste shirt moved closer and lifted the man’s two legs. He held his trouser at the waist level and dragged it off him leaving the man naked. Another removed his shirt.
He grabbed the man’s feet and started to drag the body towards the bush. Two versions of this footage were played to the jurors. One had the slow motion effect applied to enable the jurors to watch closely.
The first accused person, William Baah, who was the assemblyman for the area of the incident was spotting in a white long sleeve shirt. There was a large screen on his right side showing the video. He did not look at the screen even once during the 10 minutes broadcast. Some of the other accused persons sitting by him looked at the screen quietly.
Criminal Courtroom 3 was the venue of the broadcast that left those in the courtroom silent. The Prosecutors and Defence lawyers all had screens in front of them as they watch closely.
Supreme Court Judge Mariama Owusu, who is hearing the case as an additional High Court judge, took her eyes off her screen on her table at least eight times during the 10-minute broadcast.
She wiped her forehead with a tissue and appeared uncomfortable during the broadcast.
The seven-member jury hearing the matter with the judge looked on closely as well. When the video broadcast ended, Justice Owusu announced a two-minute break and dashed off to her chambers.
She returned shortly after but the prosecutors were not done. A word document containing pictures taken from the video was shown to the court.
Chief Inspector Samuel Agyakwa, who investigated the case, told the court he had identified 13 out of the 14 accused persons in the video.