Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Issa Mobilla murder trial - Defence makes submission of no case
July 19, 2012 (Page 3 Lead) COUNSEL for two soldiers who were alleged to have murdered a former Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Alhaji Issa Mobilla, is praying the Accra Fast Track High Court to discharge his clients. In a submission of no case submitted to the court at its sitting in Accra today, Mr. Thaddeus Sory, is arguing that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against his clients to warrant the court to order them to open their defence. Corporal Yaw Appiah and Private Eric Modzaka were alleged to have played various roles resulting in the death of Mobilla on December 9, 2004 when the latter was in military custody for allegedly supplying guns and ammunition to the youth in Tamale to foment trouble. Appiah and Goka have pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and murder while a third accused person, Private Seth Goka. Goka, is currently on the run. According to counsel for the accused persons, the prosecution failed to prove the essential ingredients of the crime of conspiracy to commit murder and murder. Counsel argued that at the close of the prosecution’s case, the evidence adduced was so manifestly unreliable that there was no basis for the court to call on the accused persons to open their defence. He said the prosecution could not adduce any evidence to prove that the accused persons conspired to cause the death of Mobilla adding that Modzaka was not present when the alleged assault on Mobilla took place. “There is no evidence whatsoever of the involvement of Modzaka in any conspiracy to murder the deceased. There is overwhelming evidence that he was not there. His plea of alibi remained iron cast by the time the prosecution closed its case. His witnesses on the plea of alibi appeared before the Board of Inquiry and confessed that Modzaka was not present when the deceased was brought and taken into military custody,” the 77-page document pointed out. According to the defence, the testimonies of two of the prosecution witnesses, who counsel described as star witnesses have been overly discredited throughout the trial that it would be appropriate for the court to discharge the accused person. The trial first began in March, 17 2010 before Mr. Justice Senyo Dzamefe and terminated by virtue of an order of the Supreme Court which prohibited Mr. Justice Dzamefe from continuing to preside over the trial. The present proceedings commenced June 22, 2011 before Mr. Justice M. H. Logoh.A total of nine witnesses were called by the prosecution.