There was silence at the High Court as 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 reported to have been lynched by a mob at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region.
After the police went there, 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 commences with many men in pursuit of an individual and shouts of “thief, thief” can be heard. The man veers off the tarred road as the number of people chasing him grows behind him. Eventually, the mob catches up with him and the attack takes off.
Sticks and cement blocks are mainly the “weapons” of the attack. They strike the fair looking man many times causing him to fall to the ground. He still moves slowly on the ground but the attack intensifies. Stones are dropped, one man approaches and grabs him. Punches the man in the head and abdomen many times.”
The man lies motionless for a second. A man in a pink shirt moves closer and stands directly above him. He lifts a stone with rough edges and landed it on the head of the motionless man.
This causes him to move and within seconds his forehead is covered with blood. Another man wearing a black Lacoste shirt moves closer and lifts the man’s two legs. He holds his trousers at the waist level and drags it off him leaving the man naked. Another removed his shirt.
He grabs the man’s feet and starts to drag the body towards the bush. Two versions of this footage was played to the jurors. One had the slow motion effect applied to enable the jurors watch closely.
The first accused person, William Baah, who was the assemblyman for the area of the incident is spotting in a white long sleeve shirt. There is a large screen on his right side showing the video. He does not look at the screen even once during the 10 minutes showing. Some of the other accused persons sitting by him looked at the screen quietly.
Criminal Courtroom 3, the venue of the video showing, is so silent as the video plays. The Prosecutors and Defence lawyers all have screens in front of them as they watched closely.
Supreme Court Judge Mariama Owusu who is hearing the case as an additional High Court judge takes her eyes off her screen on her table at least 8 times during the 10 minute showing.
She wipes her forehead with a tissue and appears uncomfortable during the showing.
The Seven member jury hearing the matter with the judge look on closely as well. Once the video showing ends, Justice Owusu announces a two minute break and dashes off to her chambers.
She returns shortly after but the prosecutors are not done. A word document containing pictures taken from the video is shown to the court.
Chief Inspector Samuel Agyakwa who investigated the case tells the court he has identified 13 of the 14 accused persons in the video.