BY MUNTALLA INUSAH | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PATHOLOGIST at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital who conducted a post-mortem on the late Major Maxwell Adams Mahama has said the soldier died from “multiple head injuries.”
Dr Lawrence Edusei, who is the 13th Prosecution Witness in the trial in which some 14 persons are standing trial for murder, told the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court that the soldier suffered an unnatural death.
Being led by the Chief State Attorney, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, to give evidence, the witness told the court that “the cause of death is multiple head injuries due to blunt objects and shot guns which are unnatural cause of death.”
Dr Edusei, also a visiting pathologist at the 37 Military Hospital, explained further that the “blunt objects” are objects that do not have sharp edges like stone, wood and iron rods.
The pathologist also revealed to the court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu (one of the three Judges appointed by the President and awaiting confirmation to the Supreme Court) that two pellets were also retrieved from the brain of the late military man.
Who is Dr Edusei?
Dr Edusei, the Specialist Pathologist, who has conducted series of post-mortem for the judiciary and is the 13th of the 14 witnesses the state has indicated to call in this case, said he works at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and also a visiting pathologist at 37 Military Hospital.
According to him, he has been a pathologist since 1999 and after his qualification as general doctor in 1987 abroad, he proceeded to Ghana to work from 1988 to 1995. Then he went to Austria to do his specialization in pathologist and from there he came back a qualified pathologist.
Functions of a pathologist
Explaining to the court what the functions of a pathologist are, he said “there are two major aspects of our work” and the larger part is what we call diagnostic in the laboratory.
“Anybody who has under gone surgery and a tissue or something is taken out from the body, that person comes to the pathologist for diagnosis.
For example, he said, anything removed from the body comes to the pathologist and that “as an education to the public, nobody should allow anything taken from the body to be thrown away.”
He also told the court that the second part of the pathologist’s job is that “we perform pathology to ascertain the cause of death.”
Dr Edusei, who was led by the Chief State Attorney to give evidence, told the court that “I was directed to perform the post-mortem on the deceased, and that the examination of the deceased started from external examination. Then depending, what you have seen will guide you to go ahead and perform further examination to the body.”
He told the court that he “performed a thorough examination based on what I saw and years gone post-mortem and autopsy are different but now they are used interchangeably.”
The pathologist said, “I wrote my report and submitted it to the magistrate who ordered the post-mortem. And even though the coroner was not from Accra, I submitted the report to a magistrate in Accra.”
He told the court that from the external examination, “I saw well nourished male adult had the following marks of violence. There were burns involving the head, both upper limps, both lower limps, the abdomen, totalling about 54% of the total body surface area.
He explained further that, “there were multiple illustrations on the scalp, there were illustrations on the left side of the lower limp, depressed fracture of the scalp, fracture of the body mandible, the jaw bone, fractured chest bones (ribs).
“There was extensive bleeding under the skin of the head and I retrieved a flat lead object, looking like a pellet from the skin covering the head, so the next is the examination of the internal organs.”
He said the skin has been disrupted but explained that one can have a fracture and “the skin would be intact, but this depressed fracture was deep and has led to multiple fracture.”
“From the brains, there were bleedings, the respiratory system bleeding on the surfaces of the lungs, a penetrative injury of the left lump, the entry was in and the exit was at the back of the lung. In the chest cavity at the left side, there was a collection of blood about.
The experienced pathologist also told the court that he took X-Ray on the body prior to the post-mortem, and “again this was done in certain cases where you expect shootings which will “help you to identify the areas where the bullets entered the body.”
Case adjourned to December 10 for further cross examination.