The late Major Maxwell Mahama
The fifth state prosecution witness in the Major Maxwell Mahama murder trial has been accused by defense lawyers of actively participating in the gruesome lynching of the soldier who was mistaken for a robber at Denkyira Obuasi.
George Bernard Shaw, lead counsel for William Baah, then assemblyman for Denkyira Obuasi and four other accused persons claimed that the witness was one of those who lynched Major Mahama which was why he sustained an injury to his finger.
The lawyer therefore disparaged claims by the witness, Solomon Sackey that he sustained the injury when he attempted to prevent the mob from lynching the fallen soldier.
The witness, led in his evidence-in-chief by Evelyn Keelson, a chief state attorney, had told the court that he had gone to the scene to attack Major Mahama as he thought he was a robber.
He said he however changed his mind and decided to prevent the others from lynching him after he had seen how much the soldier had been beaten.
The court heard that it was in the process of helping Major Mahama that the witness had an unintended stick hit him, leaving him with a bleeding finger.
But the defence lawyers appear not convinced by the evidence, as they accused Solomon Sackey of participating in the lynching.
Mr. Shaw also suggested that the witness could not have saved Major Mahama, let alone prevent the mob from attacking him.
The lawyer then put it to the witness that it was because of his involvement in the lynching that he ran away from Denkyira Obuasi when he heard that military personnel were coming to the town.
But the witness denied the accusations, insisting that although he had gone to the scene prepared to attack the purported robber, he changed his mind upon getting there and decided to help him rather.
“I had that intention (to attack him) but when I got there and saw the situation, I decided to intervene,” Solomon Sackey told the court.
He also refuted claims that he ran away from the town because he had participated in the lynching and was scared of getting arrested.
“I heard that soldiers were coming to the town and would manhandle anyone they met,” he explained as the reason he left the town.
The witness on Tuesday identified four out of the 14 suspects as those he saw in the mob attacking the late Major Mahama.
He mentioned Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Akwasi Baah as those who hit the late Major Mahama with different weapons.
But the lawyer refuted that evidence as well, saying the witness did not see any of those whose names he had mentioned.
Instead, the lawyer alleged that the witness saw one Nana Kwadwo aka Najo, a brother of the witness who was one of the attackers and the ones who poured petrol on the late Major Mahama’s lifeless body before it was set on fire.
Solomon Sackey again denied the allegation, stating that he did not see Nana Kwadwo at the crime scene.
Mr. Shaw then accused the witness of doing the bid of the prosecution to implicate others because they decided to let him off the hook after he was arrested and put before the Magistrate Court for committal.
The witness, however, denied the assertion insisting that he was not doing the bid of the prosecution and has been truthful with the court in his testimony.
The court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, adjourned the matter to January 29, 2019 for further cross examination of the witness.