JUST IN:Major Mahama Murder Trial Adjourned To June 20-SEE DETAILS.
The High Court on Monday, June 13, 2022, adjourned the hearing in the Major Mahama murder trial to enable the State to file its response to submissions of no case made by some defendants in the matter.
The Prosecution closed its case last month against the 14 accused persons, including then-Assemblyman for Denkyira Obuasi, William Baah, after urging the Court, through its 14 witnesses, to find them guilty of knowingly killing the military officer.
Major Maxwell Adam Mahama until his killing, was with the 5th Infantry Battalion, Burma Camp, Accra.
He was, however, said to have been on duty tour of Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when he was killed on May 29, 2017.
Lawyers for the accused persons rigorously questioned the prosecutions on their testimonies against the accused persons, after which they indicated to the court that they would be making submissions of no case against the accused persons. They were subsequently given two weeks from May 17 to file their submissions.
This right is availed of an accused person under the country’s criminal jurisprudence [s. 173 of Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30)], to convince a Court that prosecution failed to prove criminality in a matter brought against a person by looking at the evidence presented against the accused.
This is usually to convince the Court that the evidence presented against the accused person is not convincing enough to compel the accused person to open a defence in the said matter.
Successful submission of no case has the potency of discharging the person of the crimes alleged.
But, where this fails, the accused person is moved to open his defence.
In court on Monday, however, a Chief State Attorney, Frances Mullen Ansah, announced that they were yet to receive submissions from Augustine Gyamfi (lawyer for accused persons 7 and 11), and Theophilus Odonkor (lawyer for accused persons 3 and 9).
The learned Chief State Attorney told the Court that their responses were almost ready, except that they were waiting and hoping to incorporate their responses to the two outstanding submissions.
The Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, a Justice of the Supreme Court sitting as an additional High Court Judge, however, said the Court would not wait on the defence lawyers and would move on regardless if they didn’t file the submissions, since filing a submission of no case was “not compulsory”.
Her Ladyship subsequently adjourned the case to June 20, 2022, to enable the prosecution file their response, saying that “the court is not inclined to wait for them (defence lawyers)”.