Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wrapped In Mystery

“Cause of Death Unknown”, Dr. Wachekwa Tells Court...

M. Welemongai Ciapha, II (077119511)

The much publicized Maryland County murder trial involving H. Dan Morias and nine others is gradually climaxing as prosecution’s expert witness Dr. Ivan Wachekwa on Tuesday stunned his audience, testifying that the exact cause of Tumu Yaode Allison’s death was not established by him.
Dr. Wachekwa, who is a graduate of Medicine & Surgery from the University of Zimbabwe and assigned at the JFK Memorial Hospital in Sinkor, told the court that he has been involved in examinations of sexually abused patients and have also, performed several autopsies.
Answering a question from the prosecution to state where he was posted in 2009,  Dr. Wachekwa answered that on November 25, 2009, at about 9:00 a.m., he was requested by the Police in Harper City, Maryland County ,to examine the body of a victim, found floating in Lake Shepherd.
The eighth witness told the court that after the retrieval of the body from the water, it was confirmed that the victim was dead, with several body parts missing.
Witness Wachekwa: “The body was taken to the J. J. Dossen Hospital for further examinations and only an external examination was performed. The body was in a state of mild rigor mortis (which means it was completely stiff), and was much too cold to touch. Both ears and the left eye were absent, as well as the left eye lid. There was what appeared to be a bruise on the right eye lid, but the eye lid itself was intact. Both upper and lower lips were missing and the tip of the right big toe was absent, exposing the bone”. Witness Wachekwa testified that during the initial stage of his examination, the body was placed in cold water and there was no sufficient decomposition.
Responding to a question from the defense while under cross-examination as to whether he was a Pathologist, Dr. Wachekwa revealed that he was not a Pathologist, but indicated that part of the training for a Bachelors’ Degree in Medicine and Surgery includes post mortem as well as gross-pathology.
As the witness was giving his testimony, state prosecutors filed another petition for a Writ of Certiorari (special proceeding to review and correct decisions of officials, boards or agency acting in a judicial capacity) against Presiding Judge Koboi Nuta, for his exclusion from the trial on grounds that he was bias.
The petition for a Writ of Certiorari, which was filed to Associate Justice Francis S. Korkpor Sr, presiding in Chambers, is the second since the case started nearly two months ago. The first petition filed by the Government of Liberia against the Respondent/Judge was denied and the Judge was ordered to proceed with the trial in keeping with the law.
The contention of the prosecution to remove Judge Nuta stemmed from an earlier attempt by Cllr. Samuel K. Jacobs to admit an alleged voluntary statement attributed to one of the defendants, Donene Landford. The statement, considered by the state as ‘very material species of evidence’ was objected by the defense on grounds that the woman was illiterate and wasn’t advised by her lawyer, thus the objection was sustained by the Judge.
In his contention, petitioner informed the Justice-in-Chambers that during the interim, arguments broke out between him and the defense, leading to him being fined US$50.00 to be paid within 24hrs, and failure to do so would have led to the arrest and incarceration of the petitioner.
With the eighth witnesses being paraded, judicial sources hinted FrontPage Africa on Tuesday that the Justice-in-Chambers is likely to dismiss the petition on the basis that the case has reached its highest peak, where the prosecution is expected to rest their side of the case.