The Accra High Court has ordered the Attorney General (AG) to submit the full complement of the evidence it intends to rely on for the prosecution of galamsey kingpin Aisha Huang.
Aisha Huang is standing trial for engaging in illegal mining activities in the Ashanti Region.
On October 11, this year, the AG assured the court that it was ready for the trial and would disclose all evidence to be used.
However, it emerged in court today (Monday, October 24, that the AG has not filed all disclosures in the case.
Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah Yeboah, told the court his officers were at the registry filing the documents.
This explanation did not sit well with the lawyer for Aisha Huang, Nkrabeah Effah Dartey.
“At the last date, the AG said he was ready. Now we are here. And they are saying they are not ready. Please, I want to repeat my application the other time. Grant us bail,” he said.
The presiding judge, Justice Lydia Marfo, responded, indicating that the circumstances that led her to the decline for bail still hold.
She also noted that the Chinese Interpreter needed for the proceedings was absent.
Therefore, she adjourned proceedings to November 2, 2022, directing the Attorney General to ensure that the documents are made available to enable case management and pre-trial conference.
Speaking to the media, Deputy AG Alfred Tuah Yeboah said the delay was only a result of his office being diligent.
“We have complied, but it wasn’t within time. As we speak, it has been done. Prosecuting a case like what we have at the moment, you need to dot the “I’s” cross the T’s. At the next adjourned date, we will definitely be ready to move on,“ he stated.
Facts of the case
As narrated in court, the complainants are security and intelligence officers, and the accused persons are Chinese nationals.
The prosecution said Aisha had gained “notoriety” for engaging in small-scale mining activities known as galamsey across the country.
It said in 2017, Aisha was arrested for a similar offence, but she managed to “sneak out” of the country, averting prosecution.
The prosecution said early this year, Aisha “sneaked” into Ghana, having changed the details on her Chinese passport.
The suspect is said to have applied for a Togo visa and went through the borders into Ghana.
Aisha then resumed small-scale mining activities without a license and further engaged in the purchase and sale of minerals in Accra without valid authority as granted by the Minerals and Mining Act.
The prosecution said she engaged in the sale and purchase of minerals with the three accused persons and that intelligence led to their arrest.
What are the charges?
- Undertaking a mining operation without a license is contrary to section 99(2)(a) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2019, Act 995.
- Facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation contrary to section 99 (2)(a) & (3) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2019, Act 995
- Illegal employment of foreign nationals contrary to section 24 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573)
- Entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry contrary to section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.