The Circuit Court in Accra, yesterday rejected a second bail application for Chinese businesswoman, En Huang, also known as Aisha Huang, who made her third appearance, charged with engaging in illegal mining activities.
The 47-year-old and three other Chinese nationals have been charged for the sale and purchase of minerals without license.
The three others, Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei, Huiad Hiahun, all Chinese, have also denied any wrong doing and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel for Huang, Jei and Hiahun, Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, in his submission to the court, presided over by Mr Samuel Bright Acquah, said granting his clients bail will send a clear and loud message that a person brought to court was not guilty until pronounced by the court as such.
The counsel said the court per its ruling in the previous hearing, granted the prosecution an additional two weeks to complete investigations and that meant that his clients had been remanded four weeks, which was on the high side.
Mr Effah Dartey said that charges preferred against his clients were not backed by the needed evidence, and prayed the court to mete out the same measure of justice that would be applied to a Ghanaian by granting his clients bail.
He referred to the absence of the main prosecution, Detective Chief Inspector Frederick Sarpong, as an indication that the state’s case was failing.
Counsel for Jong Li Hua, Franklin Kumakoh, argued that there was no ‘unbaillable’ offense in the country, subject to the judge’s discretion.
He disclosed that his client being in custody made it difficult for him as well as her family to have access to her with the prosecution putting many impediments in their way.
But the prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Isaac Babayi, contended that they were working in the best interest of justice, by requesting for more time to present a case that won’t be flimsy before the court.
He said that even though accused deserved justice, the laws of the land must be applied.
The court after weighing the arguments, lamented the destruction of illegal mining to waters bodies, the environment and aquatic life, and subsequently ruled that Huang and the three others continue to be remanded and to reappear on October 11.
According to the facts presented by the prosecution, Aisha Huang had previously escaped prosecution in Accra when she was arrested for a similar offence in 2017.
Prosecution told the court she managed to sneak out of the country, averting prosecution and added that during the early part of this year, Aisha Huang sneaked back into the country after changing the details of her Chinese passport.
Chief Inspector Babayi told the court that she applied for a Togolese visa and entered Ghana through its border with Togo and returned to the ‘Galamsey’ business in a town in the Ashanti Region.
The three others, according to the prosecution sold mining equipment and traded in Gold without a valid license.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO