Godfred Yeboah Dame
The Attorney General has requested for further investigations in the case of illegal mining kingpin, En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang, who is standing trial for undertaking illegal mining in the Ashanti Region.
The request for further investigation into the case, which is of particular interest to Ghanaians given the circumstances under which she managed to re-enter the country in 2018, follows the forwarding of the case docket to the Office of the Attorney General by the police.
Mercy Arthur, a Principal State Attorney appearing before an Accra Circuit Court hearing the case yesterday, indicated that “We have received the case docket in respect of the accused.”
“Upon review, we have been given directions for further investigation to be conducted into certain aspects of the case. In view of this, we would plead with the court to further adjourn to enable us take a further step into the case,” she told the court.
Oheneba Poku, counsel for the accused, said the request of the prosecution is an indication that the trial will be further delayed while Aisha Huang remain in police cells.
“Investigations are still not complete and we would plead with the court to consider the bail since they are not in the position to interfere with the case,” he pleaded.
Frank Kumadoh, counsel for one of the accused, also indicated that the prosecution never gave a definite date that the “so-called” investigation will end, indicating that the accused persons have been in custody for long and their freedom is sacrosanct.
“To curtail their freedom of movement should not be taken on a lighter note. Bail should not be used as punishment,” he added.
The court, presided over by His Honour Samuel Bright Acquah, urged the defence counsels to file formal application for bail for the court to make a determination. He adjourned the case to November 11, 2022, for continuation.
Aisha Huang together with two other Chinese nationals, Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei as well as a Vietnamese, Huaid Hai Hun are before the court on charges of illegal mining and sale and purchase of mining equipment without valid licence.
Aisha Huang, who was deported in December 2019 for a similar offence, was re-arrested for crimes related to the sale and purchase of minerals without licence as well as illegal mining, which has become a menace in the country’s mining areas.
Court documents say she was arrested in 2017 for a similar offence but managed to sneak out of the country, thereby averting prosecution. It adds that she managed to sneak back into the country this year after having changed the details on her Chinese passport, and resumed her illegal mining business upon her return to Ghana.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak