The Trial Of The Beast…
THE TRIAL OF THE BEAST
“Yes, you!” Faddah said with a coolness he did not feel. “I recommended you to the Presiding Judge.”
“Yo-you b-bad man!” Eduafo cried. “I work at the Attorney-General right here in this department, and State Attorneys are prosecutors in criminal cases, so defending the accused in a criminal case isn’t even feasible!”
Faddah laughed so much that his stomach began to rumble, and before he knew what was happening there were loud flatulent sounds from him.
He ignored it and sat straight. Under any other circumstances he would have been very embarrassed, but not now. He was enjoying himself too much to care.
“In the first instance, my brother, you’ve not been permanently attached to the A-G’s office. You’ve mostly done your work from Legal Aid, where people without lawyers get representation. So, we’ve recommended you for this case. Who knows, if you do well, we might use it as a sign of good things and give you quite a lucrative employment and position, quite possibly an Assistant State Attorney, hm? So, grab the opportunity, my brother, and roll with it.”
“I can refuse this!” Eduafo cried.
“You refuse, and you won’t get any good reference from this department, young man,” Faddah said levelly. “In fact, the reputation that would follow you out of this place would be a big dent in your resume, and you might probably never be able to practice as a lawyer again!”
“People will understand,” Eduafo said without conviction. “Surely, no sensible lawyer will choose to defend a public enemy like that boy!”
“There’s no escaping this, young man,” Faddah said coldly. “When the Presiding Judge appoints you, there’s no wiggling out of it, do you understand? You have this case. Refuse it and you’ll answer personally to the Attorney-General.”
Eduafo hesitated a moment, then almost in tears he turned and stormed out of the room.
Faddah’s phone rang just then..
“Hello,” he said, his heart skipping a little beat when he saw who was calling. “Faddah Kissiedu here.”
“Justice Kuntu told me to call you,” said Chief Inspector Boateng.
“Are the documents ready?” Faddah asked.
“Good. I’ll be having lunch at Bumbu’s Palace in exactly one hour’s time.”
“I shall be there,” Chief Inspector Boateng said.
Kuuku Eduafo stared into the eyes of the killer.
He was surprised at how young the boy really was.
Zak Twum still looked pale, and walked with the aid of a stick.
Eduafo had tried hard to wiggle out of the unfortunate situation he found himself in, but two days after Faddah had broken the news to him, the Attorney-General had called him personally, and advised him to take the case when he was appointed. Eduafo knew just how badly it would affect his career if he got in the wrong books of the A-G.
The case had been called for the opening formalities, and Kuuku Eduafo, shaking with resentment, had been in court as ordered. There, the Presiding Judge had been apprised that the boy did not have a lawyer, and he had called Eduafo and appointed him to represent Zak Twum. He had been given two weeks to prepare for the case because documents brought to his attention pointed to the fact that Zak Twum was actually twenty years old and would be tried as an adult and no longer a juvenile.
And then the judge had adjourned the case to enable Eduafo prepare adequately.
And that was when the nightmare began.
Everywhere he went, the press chased him.
He had been too stunned Finally, after one week, he came to see the boy.
Eduafo was ushered into a drab, narrow room. It had a single table, two hard-backed chairs and a rusty refrigerator. It had one small window overlooking a row of police quarters buildings.
Two policemen led the boy to one of the chairs and as soon as he was seated, they handcuffed him. The boy was wearing a pair of faded jeans, sandals, and a black T-shirt.
Eduafo took the opposite chair.
Eduafo set his briefcase on the table. He took out a felt-tipped pen, some plain A4 sheets and a little recorder.
“My name’s Kuuku Eduafo,” he said. “I’m currently attached to the Attorney-General’s office but I do most of my work for Legal Aid, a department that provide free services to people who have no lawyers. I’ve been appointed to represent you in court. Actually, it is not in the least palatable, but I have to do it. From the way I see it, everything is stacked against you, so only you can help yourself by giving me as much information as you can. First of all, tell me about yourself.”
Eduafo pressed the ‘record’ button on his recorder, and picked up his pen.
The recorder whirled, but the boy did not speak.
Eduafo looked at him, first with frustration, and then with mounting fury. Finally, he stopped the recorder and leaned across the table, his face contorted with wrath.
“You imbecile, what do you think you’re doing?” he screamed. “You are no longer going to be tried by a juvenile court, okay? The court has been apprised of your certificates which place you at twenty years old. That means you’re going to a High Court presided over by Judge Tutu Kuntu, with seven angry people forming a jury! You can get a death sentence if you don’t cooperate with me! The best you can get out of this sordid affair is a life sentence, do you understand? You will rot in jail. So, stop behaving as if this is kid stuff and tell me your damn story!”
The boy did not even blink; he just stared at Eduafo.
Try as much as he could, Eduafo could not get him to utter a word, and after a while he angrily put back everything into his briefcase.
“Fine, it is your head!” he grated out.
Eduafo turned angrily toward the door. He opened it, and paused.
He turned and took a final look at the boy.
The policemen had come to take him inside. They pulled him up roughly. His face, for one moment, was filled with pain. Eduafo felt a stab of sympathy for him, but then he remembered what the boy had done, and it vanished quickly.
All indications were that it was turning out to be the most famous court case of all time in the country. It gathered more frenzy as the days passed and the court proceedings loomed nearer.
Prime View’s daily coverage soon became one of the most popular television shows in the country.
On the Sunday before the trial began, Prime View interviewed a cross-section of citizens live on television.
A majority of them expressed the wish that if found guilty the severest form of punishment should be meted out to Zak Twum, that evil criminal.
A smart-looking businessman driving a huge Chrysler said:
“In my opinion, it is a waste to spend the hard-earned tax revenue on the case. Because this boy has to be killed! He doesn’t deserve a trial. He’s not a human, no, no. That boy is a monster, a heinous soul of the darkest calibre! He is indeed, a beast!”
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