An Accra High Court has successfully empanelled a seven-member jury to sit on a case in which an army officer Major Adam Mahama was lynched by community members in Denkyira-Obuasi on May 29, 2017.
The community members lynched the army officer on suspicion that he was an armed robber. At least 14 persons were arrested and charged with murder with the jury trial beginning Wednesday.
The trial follows two failed attempts at getting the jury to hear the case against the suspects.
The jury comprises five gentlemen and two women from the Judicial Service and they are to decide the fate of the 14.
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The third juror nominated was finally accepted by parties to the case. They were sworn in shortly after.
Trial Judge Mariama Owusu charged the jurors to pay attention to only what transpires in the court as the case progresses and not to be distracted by media reports and stories outside the courtroom.
When sitting opened, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, one of the defence lawyers (Patrick Anim Addo) objected to the opening statement of the Chief State Attorney even though she was yet to speak formally.
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Some of the suspects
He said the confession statements were obtained improperly and that the Jury will be prejudiced if they allow the prosecutor to make reference to the confession which was obtained through threats, inducements and other oppressive methods
“We will show you the roles of each accused person in the lynching of Major Mahama in the course of this trial,” Keelson told the jury.
“15 witnesses, 52 exhibits will be relied upon, my lady, lady and gentlemen of the jury, we will show that Captain Mahama is dead and that he died from unnatural causes and these individuals played various roles” she added.
One of the defence counsel George Bernard Shaw told the jury “The prosecutor will not be able to show that William Baah (assemblyman) did intentionally instigate and cause the gang of young men of the town to undertake this act”
“They arrested many, have left many with others currently at large. That should tell you the evidence must be tested,” he added.
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On his part, Augustine Obuor who is counsel for some of the accused persons also told the jury that slapping somebody, insulting someone, chasing someone does not cause death. They must tell the act that caused death. That is the law. Ignore talks about mob, they must show how an act by A5 and A6 (his clients) caused the death of Major Mahama. You are not supposed to follow your emotions! You must follow the evidence”
“You should not follow the Ghanaian way of doing things. The media things, look at the evidence critically,” he argued.