Five accused persons in the Major Maxwell Mahama murder trial say they are financially handicapped, making it difficult to hire a competent lawyer to defend them.
The five were among seven accused persons divorced by lawyer George Bernard Shaw who has been on their case since the trial began in June 2017. When their case was called for the first time at the High Court on February 15, the counsel claimed he gave up on the suspects because they have been giving him conflicting accounts on the murder of the soldier.
They however appeared in court on March 5 and made known their financial difficulties in securing lawyers, TV3’s Godfred Tanam reports.
He said George Bernard Shaw was compelled to step in again, promising the court that he will secure them lawyers.
The presiding judge Justice Mariamah Owusu was emphatic that she might be forced to find lawyers to represent the five if they are not able to find lawyers of their choice. She however wants Bernard Shaw to exhaust all avenues before she will intervene.
On the other hand, the trial judge is herself challenged as she made known her difficulty in empanelling jurors because most of them are 58 years.
The fear is that if the case travels beyond two years, the jurors may retire, which will definitely affect the case, Godfred noted.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the family of late Mahatma says the number of people standing trial are less than those captured in the video on the murder. About 50 people were initially arrested but the number was whittled down to 14 during the preliminary stage of the case.
Zakaria Sakara Ahmed had wanted all persons captured in the video to be hauled before the court to prove their innocence.
Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was murdered by a mob on May 29, 2017 at Denkyira-Obuasi while serving as the detachment commander based in Upper Denkyira West District capital Diaso in the Central Region.
Read: Lawyer gives up on seven ‘killers’ of Maj. Mahama
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