The Trial Of The Beast….
THE TRIAL OF THE BEAST
The Chief Justice was shaking with uncontrollable anger. He pointed a trembling finger at Kuntu.
“Your father was very wealthy, and you inherited his companies,” he said softly. “You’re a wealthy man as it is. The only thing left for you was to protect your integrity, but by your actions you have thrown us both into the mud! How could you do such a silly thing? How could you drag me into such a mire?”
“It needed to be done,” Kuntu said softly. “I told you to stand aside, Ayew. Of course, I’m saddened by the fact that I had to break the very law I’ve sworn to protect, but it is for a good cause, and for that I have no regrets!”
They glared at each other for a long time. Finally, the Chief Justice turned away and headed for his room. He paused, and spoke over his shoulder.
“Remember the old saying of our ancestors, son, that if you try to look into two bottles with one eye, that eye will go blind!”
“Father, sometimes it is better to go blind in one eye, than not knowing the contents of the bottle,” Kuntu replied without remorse.
On Monday, the first day of the trial, the High Court premises was a scene of utter chaos.
The streets were filled with hordes of people. Some carried placards bearing some really derogatory remarks about Zak Twum. Army personnel had even been brought in to provide extra security because of the violent demonstrations going on.
Some foreign media houses were also present.
Presiding Judge Tutu Kuntu took his seat. His face was utterly expressionless. The seven-member jury consisting of four women and three men was also seated.
Faddah Kissiedu was looking resplendent in his expensive three-piece suit. His team was made up of a Principal State Attorney, A senior State Attorney and two State Attorneys. Three men and a young female.
He looked over to his left where Kuuku Eduafo was sitting, all alone, and he smiled secretly to himself.
His opening statement was brisk and professional.
He described the charges levelled against Zak Twum, and how he was going to prove that the young man was indeed a hardened criminal, and deserved nothing but the death sentence at most, and life imprisonment at least.
He was so concise and passionate that Eduafo quailed inside.
When Kissiedu finally sat down, he received loud applause which Judge Kuntu quickly killed, and warned the audience against future disturbances.
When Eduafo stood up to deliver his opening statement there was a sudden cry of anger from the crowd which finally died down when Judge Kuntu’s gavel came down sharply.
Eduafo felt like a fly in a spider’s web.
His throat was dry, and sweat poured down his face.
He faced the stone-faced jury. He appealed to their inner souls as parents, and begged them not to judge the case on its obvious grossness, but to see the defendant as a child who had known no parental love as he grew up in an orphanage.
And then he sat down amidst deep sounds of anger from the crowd. His legs felt wobbly; none of the jury members had even blinked at him, and he knew that they were also as angry as the crowd.
With the opening statements out of the way, Tutu Kuntu fixed the next hearing for the following day, and court was adjourned.
Kissiedu was received by the press and the crowd like a conquering king.
He preened and enjoyed the attention as they swarmed around him. He was blinded by the flashlights of a thousand cameras, but he took it all in with joy and answered the many questions fired at him with a wide smile.
Eduafo had to be protected by a cordon of police and army bodies and led away to his car. They could however not protect him from all the rotten tomatoes fired at him. One landed on his face, and turned his collar and neck into a Halloween mask.
He looked up with agitation, his eyes poking out of the tomato juices with shock.
“Wh-why?” he tried to ask, and another rotten tomato landed on his mouth.
Cameras were pointed and flashlights blasted away; his was not a very pretty picture on the front pages of newspapers the following day!
The court room was quiet, although both upper and lower terraces were filled with people. The corridors were all choked with bodies. The court ground was bursting with crowds of people.
Court had been in session for almost an hour now, and everybody was quiet as the horrific tale of Gyamaan’s rape was told.
Judge Tutu Kuntu could barely restrain his anger as Faddah Kissiedu led his chief witness to recount the story.
The faces of the jury were hard with suppressed fury as they listened.
Even Kuuku Eduafo was having a fresh bout of anger as the tale unfolded. Once again, he cursed the ill luck that had made him the lawyer of the little beast seated beside him.
Zak Twum was wearing dark blue trousers, white shirt and a matching light-blue tie. His shoes were shiny and nice. He sat back in his chair, his fingers laced, his elbows on the table, his face deadpan as he listened to what was going on.
Chief Inspector Boateng was in the dock.
He had just narrated how he had received a call from Ayew Afriyie, telling him Gyamaan had been kidnapped by Zak Twum. He recounted how he and four other policemen had ridden on police motorbikes to the location where Zak was with Gyamaan.
They had not used any sirens for fear of what Zak would do if he knew the police were on his trail.
They had climbed the stairs of the house, located Zak Twum’s door, and kicked it in. The room had been empty, but the bathroom door had been ajar. They had heard a girl’s scream in the bathroom, and they had rushed inside.
They found Gyamaan lying on the cold tiled floor, naked, and covered with blood.
Zak Twum was poised above her, his arms around her, also naked.
The policemen had been so shocked that they had hesitated for a fraction.
In that instant Zak had grabbed a towel from the floor, and before they knew what he was doing he had fled through another door near the Water Closet.
With a loud curse Boateng had dashed after him, his gun levelled, only to realise that there was a backdoor, and Zak Twum had fled, banging the door and locking it from the outside.
Boateng had shot the lock of the door, kicked it hard, and ran into the alley.
But Zak was nowhere in sight.
He had vanished.
Faddah gave Zak Twum a long, cold look.
All eyes were on the boy. There was not even a hint of regret on his face, and in that instant many of the people present would gladly have killed him if they had been given the chance.
Faddah turned toward the taciturn Judge Kuntu.
“No more questions, Your Honour,” he said.
He went to his seat and sat down with a satisfied grunt. His assistants smiled and patted him on the back.
“Does the Defence wish to cross examine?” Kuntu asked.
There was an angry hum from the crowd, and Kuntu allowed it to go on for some time before he nodded to the court bailiff.
“Orrrrrrder…ooooorrrrrrrrrdeeeeeerrrr!” the bailiff bellowed with such surprising vigour that the crowd was shocked into silence.
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