One of the lawyers defending the 14 people accused of killing Major Maxwell Adam Mahama has accused the military of playing a role in the death of the military officer.
According to Lawyer Anim Addo, the military detatchment commanded by Major Mahama that was deployed to the Diaso area failed to make its presence known to the people in the area.
As a result of what he described as “secret presence’’, counsel said the people of Denkyira Obuasi did not know that there was a military presence in the area and hence mistook Major Mahama for a robber and lynched him.
Mr Anim Addo made the comments when he cross-examined WO Sabi Kwesi, the first prosecution witness, at the Accra High Court on Tuesday.
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“I suggest to you that one of the main causes of this tragedy is your secret presence in the area. People did not know there was an army presence in the area,’’ Mr Anim Addo stated.
“I cannot tell,” the witness replied.
WO Kwesi was Major Mahama’s second-in command of the military detachment that was deployed to Diaso, 20 kilometres from Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region, where Major Mahama was killed.
WO Kwesi had earlier told the court in his evidence-in-chief that the detachment, made up of 31 men, was deployed to Diaso on May 9, 2017 to protect the properties of Canada and Ghana Mining Company Limited (C&G).
Mr Addo further asked WO Kwesi whether their deployment to Diaso was sanctioned by the Military High Command.
Mr Anim Addo: Were you working as part of Ghana’s Army or as private contractors?
At that point the prosecutor, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, a Chief State Attorney, objected to the question but the presiding judge, Mrs Mariama Owusu, allowed the question to stand.
WO Kwesi: I was working for the Ghana Army. It was the army that took me there so I was working for the army.
Mr Anim Addo: Do you know where C&G was operating from?
WO Kwesi: No
Mr Anim Addo: You did not know C&G’s base of operation and you were protecting them.
The witness answered that he was not part of the team that normally went out of the base and, therefore, he could not tell where C&G operated from.
Hearing continues on June 12, 2018, where the prosecution is expected to call its second witness.
Major Mahama’s death
Major Mahama was killed at Denkyira Obuasi on May 29, 2017.
He is said to have been lynched during a morning walk that led him to Denkyira Obuasi.
Fourteen people, including William Baah, a former Assembly Member of Denkyira Obuasi, are standing trial in connection with the death of the military officer.
They have all pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from murder, abetment to murder and conspiracy to commit murder.