Witness accused of concealing vital information

Thursday 18th April, 2019
Major Maxwell Mahama.jpg1

By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA

Accra, April 18, GNA - Some Defence Lawyers in the trial involving the alleged murderers of the late Major Maxwell Mahama on Wednesday accused the 9th prosecution witness of concealing information from the court.

In a cross examination of Mr Dickson Akyamfour Duah a Detective Sergeant; Defence Lawyer Theophilus Donkor asked the witness, whether it would be right to say that he did not take any photos and recordings at the crime scene but he disagreed.

Asked, whether he was concealing vital information from the court, the witness said he was not concealing any vital information regarding the photos and audio recordings.

The Counsel asked the witness when did virus attack his photo making it inaccessible for him to present the photos and the recordings but Detective Sergeant said it was a day after the incidence.

"The virus attacked the phone I used to take the photos a day after the incidence,” the witness said.

Mr Donkor suggested to the witness that, it was a clear after thought posture just to say that virus attacked his phone, but he disagreed.

Asked, whether, he reported the sequence of happenings to his authorities, he answered in the negative.

"Tell the court, the specific duty you were assigned to do," the Counsel asked and the witness said he was asked to interview the victims of the gin shots after the struggle with the late Major.

The Counsel indicated to the witness, whether he would agree with him that he had failed as a police office in his professional duty to collect first hand evidence but the witness again disagreed.

It was at this point that an argument came up between the defence and the prosecution on what type of evidence the witness should give to court.

Mr Patrick Anim Addo, a defence in the case was concern about why the prosecution should tell the witness, what to say in his evidence, since the witness had given two statements to the police.

But Mrs Evelyn Keelson, a Chief State Attorney was also of the view that they have provided all the documents they intended to rely on in the case including summary of evidence from all its witnesses to the defence.

She also said prosecution does not know why the defence had resorted to this argument, “if a witness gives evidence on an aspect of his statement, they were free to cross examine him on other issues they think was important to them”.

At the last adjourned date, the witness told the court that he was made to understand that he would only give evidence on the retrieval of a gun from one Yaw Amankwah, now at large.

Continuing the cross-examination, the Counsel asked, "The gun you retrieved has it been used," but the witness said he was not an expert in that field.

Asked, whether the intelligence gathered shows that Yaw fired at the Late Major and concealed the gun in his room was correct, the witness said he was not the investigator so he could not verify that information.

Mr George Bernard Shaw, Counsel for William Baah in further cross-examination suggested to the witness that he had made a professional mistake by giving the phone he used to record the audio interview on to the younger sister but the witness disagreed.

“So, you think it is right to give the phone, which contain vital information to your younger sister,” the Counsel asked but the witness indicated that he deleted it before giving it out.

“The virus has it corrupted and all attempt to copy it prove futile,” he added.

Mr Shaw pointed to the witness that all that he was saying does not make sense to the court but Mr Duah said it was true.

The Defence Counsel asked the Detective Sergeant, whether at the time of taking photos at the crime scene, he knew the deceased was a high ranked officer; the witness answered in the negative.

He said by losing the first hand evidence, the witness had led the late Mahama down and even the accused persons also but the witness said he did what he was directed to do at the time.

Asked, whether he remembered talking to Baah, the Assemblyman during his initial investigations, he answered in the affirmative.

The witness told the court that when he received a call from one Mr Solomon Sakyiamarh, a witness in the case, that someone had been lynched in the town, he quickly called the Assemblyman, because he has a good relationship with the Police in terms of combating crime in the area.

Detective Sergeant Duah said the Assemblyman told him that he had gone to Diaso to inform the Police.

Fourteen persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court over the killing of Major Mahama, who was an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion, at Burma Camp.

The late Major was on duty at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when on May 29, 2017 some residents allegedly mistook him for an armed robber and lynched him.

The mob had ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The accused are William Baah, the Assemblyman of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor.

Others are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.

The Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, adjourned the matter to Monday, May 6 for further cross-examination of the witness.

GNA