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Freed Maj. Mahama ‘killers’ to seek compensation from the State

Some of the eight who were discharged Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017

The eight persons who were being held for the murder of Major Maxwell Mahama say they will go to court to seek compensation from the State for what they deem to be ‘wrongful detention’.

Lawyer for the eight, Bernard Shaw, announced this Tuesday when the Accra District Court discharged the suspects for lack of evidence.

State Attorneys had informed the court there was no sufficient evidence against the suspects to warrant their committal to stand trial before a High Court, causing the presiding judge to discharge them.

Speaking to journalists after court proceedings, Mr. Shaw said they would file an application to demand compensation for the suspects for the experiences and ordeal they have had to go through for the past six months in custody.

“The law makes provision for the payment of compensation to people who may in the eyes of the law, have been wrongfully imprisoned or treated by way of prosecutorial charge,” Mr. Shaw said.

He added: “I have seen what they have gone through; the anxiety of having a trial and knowing the punishment for this offence is capital punishment.

“So they have to compensate them for the ordeal they have been through. Some of them have been away from their families,” he said.

The lawyer observed that “if the proper investigations, the assessment of the evidence have been done at the onset of the case before deploying and arrest,” they wouldn’t have come to the current situation.

Mr. Shaw further explained their decision to seek compensation is to ensure that the investigative bodies do their work diligently in the future to avoid such costs against the state, saying “like I said, it is not just asking for the sake of it but so that in future, we want the criminal justice system to be fair; fairness to the accused, fairness to the victim, fairness to the public”.

Asked how much they will be seeking from the State, he said the court taking into account the situation of each of the suspects would determine that.

Background

Major Mahama, a member of the 5th Infantry of the Ghana Armed Forces who was on official duty, was lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region on May 29, 2017 when some residents mistook for an armed robber.

A part of his body was set ablaze.

His body was retrieved filled with marks of assault including multiple deep cut wounds on the head, the Police said.

His murder reignited calls for an end to instant mob justice which was becoming rampant across the country and led to the death of a number of people.

Maj. Mahama was given a state burial and government resolved to cater for his wife and two children with the establishment of Major Mahama Trust Fund which is currently before parliament.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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