Legal representatives for two defendants during the trial of 14 individuals accused of the brutal lynching of the late Major Maxwell Mahama, have allegedly called on the prosecution to amend the charges from murder to manslaughter.
One of the defence lawyers, reported by Daily Guide as Theophilus Donkor, highlighted in his closing statement to a seven-member jury that Major Mahama reportedly fired a gun, a detail corroborated by a prosecution witness.
As such, Donkor argued that the accused, captured on video brutally attacking the soldier with clubs, cement blocks, and a gun, were responding in self-defence.
Urging the jury to acquit and discharge the accused, Donkor criticised the prosecution’s reliability, asserting that their case lacked substance.
Mr. Donkor challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s video evidence, claiming it fails to meet the standards of the Evidence Act and should be dismissed.
Additionally, he asserted that none of the 14 prosecution witnesses provided credible evidence linking his clients to the offence.
Another defence lawyer, Seidu Nasigri, raised doubts about the credibility of some prosecution witnesses, accusing them of “telling blanket lies.”
Major Mahama, the captain of a 31-member military team deployed to safeguard C&G Mining Company’s properties due to illegal mining activities, fell victim to the lynching in Denkyira Obuasi, now New Obuasi in the Central Region,
One of the accused, William Baah, the then Assemblyman of the area, faces charges of abetment of murder, while the other 13 defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and the substantive charge of murder.
All 14 defendants have pleaded not guilty and have been in prison custody since the trial began in 2018.
Among the accused are Bernard Asamoah, Kofi Nyame, Charles Kwaning, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim, Bismarck Donkor, John Bosie, Akwasi Asante, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga, and Kwadwo Anima.
The Office of the Attorney General concluded its case on May 16, 2022, in the trial of the 14 individuals accused of lynching Major Maxwell Mahama in New Obuasi, Central Region, in 2017.
During the presentation, 14 witnesses provided varying accounts of the incident, with Frances Mullen Ansah, a Chief State Attorney, leading the case investigator in presenting the disturbing videos capturing the accused persons in the act.
Eleven of the accused opened their defence, denying the charges, while three – Kofi Nyame, Bismarck Abanga, and Kwadwo Anima – chose not to mount a defence.