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General News Tue, 22 Jun 2021

Major Mahama: Witness disagrees over presence of independent witness

Sergeant Daniel Nortey, the sixth court witness in the mini-trial involving 14 alleged murderers of Major Maxwell Mahama, have disagreed with the defence on the presence of an independent witness when statement was taken from Kwame Tuffour.

He also disagreed with Mr Augustine Obour, Counsel for Tuffour that he was not the one, who took the cautioned statement from the accused person.

Sergeant Nortey in a cross-examination by Mr Obour, told the Court presided over by Madam Mariama Owusu, a Supreme Court Justice, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, that he invited Baba Yaro, the independent witness to observe the statement taken.

He said the statement was given by the accused person voluntarily, who spoke in Twi but was written in English in the presence of the independent witness, who later read it and translated same into Twi for the accused person.

The witness said because he was the one who took the statement from the accused person, he had his signature on the statement, likewise that of the independent witness,” we were both present.”

Asked, whether he knew the role of a lawyer, when a person was arrested, the witness answered in the affirmative, adding that before the statement was taken from the accused person, he was asked to contact his family.

Mr Obour asked the witness whether he was serious when he told the accused person, who was arrested on Sunday, June 4, 2017, to get a lawyer around 1130 hours, when he knew lawyers would be in church, the witness affirmed that he was serious.

Counsel pointed to the witness that he had been using the said Yaro in most of his interrogations as independent witness but Sergeant Nortey disagreed. 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 ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The accused persons are: William Baah, the Assembly member 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. The rest are: John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.

The trial was adjourned to June 28, 2021 for continuation.
Source: GNA
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