Kasoa murder trial: Court sets June 24 for verdict

Kasoa murder trial: Court sets June 24 for verdict

The jury in the trial of the two teenagers accused of the murder of an 11-year-old boy at Kasoa for a money ritual, will on June 24, this year, return its verdict on the fate of the accused persons. 

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The Criminal Division of the High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo was expected to sum up the trial yesterday in a packed courtroom with family members of the parties in the case.  

However, the judge adjourned the case to provide more time for legal representatives and the court to conclude the trial. On June 24, this year, the prosecution and lawyers for the two accused persons will address the jury before the court summarises the case for the jury to return its verdict. 

Charges

The two teenagers, who are 18 and 15 years respectively, have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and the substantive charge of murder. The 15-year-old juvenile has ‘confessed’ to the crime both at the District Court during the committal and at the High Court where they are standing trial.

He, therefore, pleaded not guilty to murder but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. However, the court entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ for him. The 18-year-old boy, on the other hand, denied the offence both at the District Court and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder and a substantive charge of murder at the High Court.

Defence

In his defence, the 18-year-old accused told the jury that he did not know the death of Ishmael Mensah Abdallah. He admitted knowing the deceased but said, “I do not know anything about the death of Ishmael Mensah Abdallah”.

Aside from accusing the 15-year-old juvenile of setting him up, the 18-year-old boy explained that the whole incident was a set up adding that he was not close to Abdallah to have hatched a plan to murder him.

He added that he only admitted to the crime originally because the police lured him.

Witnesses

Meanwhile, a Pathologist at the Ghana Police Hospital, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr Osei Owusu-Afriyie, testified that the two accused persons buried the 11-year-old boy alive.

The investigator, Chief Inspector Isaac Asiedu Odei, as part of his testimony, tendered evidence of the handle of a pickaxe that one of the accused used to hit the victim on the head.

He also tendered in evidence of two cement blocks, one of them used to hit the victim on the forehead after he had been hit with the pickaxe handle.
Chief Inspector Odei again tendered in evidence, a shovel and a spade, which the accused persons used in digging a shallow grave in which they buried the victim who was still breathing.

The investigator, in his evidence, told the court that one of the accused had confessed that he hit the deceased with a full block which later broke into pieces after landing on the forehead of the deceased.

Prosecution’s facts

According to the prosecution, on March 29, 2021, the accused persons consulted a spiritualist for money rituals locally known as "sakawa".

The said spiritualist, who claimed to be in the Volta Region, was said to have requested GH¢5,000 and a human being to perform the rituals. On April 3, 2021, the accused persons, according to the prosecution, decided to use the deceased in furtherance of their "sakawa" mission.

The deceased, she said, turned to look at the juvenile accused and pleaded with him not to kill him but forgive him if he had offended him but his plea was ignored by the juvenile accused who struck the head of the deceased with a cement block which was in the building.

As a result, the deceased became unconscious but was still breathing. The accused persons, the prosecution said, further used a spade and a shovel to dig a shallow grave in the room and buried the deceased intending to convey him to the spiritualist.

Writer’s E-mail: [email protected]

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