The trial of Aisha Huang nicknamed ”Chinese galamsey queen” is set to begin on November 9.
Appearing in court today Wednesday, November 2, Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakorah Obuobisa indicated that they had filed all documents including witness statements to be relied on for the trial of the ”galamsey queen.”
On his part, Counsel for Aisha, Capt (Rtd) Nkrabea Effah Dartey confirmed receipt of the documents filed by the state.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakorah Obuobisa told the court that: “We have 11 witnesses and we intend to call all of them. Some of the witnesses have audios and videos that were captured in the course of investigations that will be played during their testimonies so we need facilities for those.”
Subsequently, the Presiding judge, Lydia Osei Marfo ruled for the trial to begin on Wednesday, November 9 for cross-examination of the Prosecution’s first witness, Reuben Ransford Aborabora.
She added that the trial will continue on November 14, 2022, while the second witness, David Essien will appear on the 16th, 17th, and 21st.
Nana Safo Prempeh who is the third witness, will appear on the 23rd of this month and subsequently on the 28th and 29th.
On the 30th and 1st of December, the fourth witness, Matthew Kwabena Abotsi will also appear to give his witness account.
Aisha Huang is standing trial for engaging in illegal mining activities in the Ashanti Region.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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 known as ”galamsey” across the country.
It said in 2017, Aisha was arrested for a similar offense, but she managed to “sneak out” of the country, averting prosecution.
The prosecution said early this year, Aisha “sneaked” to 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 to 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.