An Accra High Court has adjourned to May 23, a bail application of five Chinese nationals, including Asia Huang, who have been remanded by the Court.
This would enable the court to hear the application for bail (pending trial) filed on behalf of the accused persons; and the State’s opposition to the application.
The Court, presided over by Mr Justice Charles Edward Baiden, on May 10, remanded them, following which the Ghana Immigration Service arraigned them; but without preferring any charges against them.
The accused persons, aka Aisha Huang, aka Yaa Asantewaa; Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun 39; Habin Gao, 26, and Zhang Pen, 23, who were not in court, are said to be behind some galamsey operations in the Ashanti Region.
The Court said it saw the notice of motion for bail, pending an appeal yesterday, but when the judge opened the court docket this morning, he also saw the Attorney General’s affidavit in opposition.
The Court wondered why the State had not charged the accused persons, yet had come to Court to oppose the bail application.
“You have not charged the accused persons and you have come to court to oppose to the application,” the judge queried. “Your opposition is without legs.”
The matter was, therefore, adjourned to enable the State to put its house in order.
Earlier on, the State did not prefer any charges against the accused persons, but on Thursday, the Court was informed that the accused persons’ activities contravened Ghana’s Mining and Minerals Laws.
Mr Jerry Akuetteh, counsel for the accused persons, however, told the Court, on Thursday that he filed the motion on notice for bail pending trial on May 15.
Mr Akuetteh held that the bail application was filed on health grounds on the part of Aisha.
According to counsel, the accused persons could be granted bail, while further investigations were being carried out because his clients would not interfere in any form with the investigations.
Ms Mercy Arthur, a Senior State Attorney, who was led by Mr Asiamah Sampong, Principal State Attorney, however, opposed the application for bail pending trial.
According to Ms Arthur, investigations carried out indicated that the accused persons’ activities contravened the Mining and Minerals Laws.
She recounted that the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) earlier held the accused persons but referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Department.
According to the Senior State Attorney, further investigations had been carried out, which indicated that the accused persons did, indeed, contravene the Mining and Mineral Act but the GIS’ mandate fell outside of that.
The accused persons were rounded up by the GIS in the Ashanti Region.
They were, consequently, transferred to Accra by the GIS for further investigations.
By Joyce Danso