BY MUNTALLA INUSAH email@example.com
THE WOES of the popular galamsey queen, En Huang aka Aisha Huang, the alleged kingpin in illegal mining (galamsey) in the country and four other Chinese galamseyers have deepened following the dismissal of their application for bail variation.
The Criminal High Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Iddrisu Abdulai, ruling on the application yesterday, said the “Court is inclined to dismiss the application for want of compelling evidence.”
On June 3, this year, En Huang was granted bail by the court, presided over by Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, in the sum of GH¢ 500,000 with two sureties both to be justified.
The other accused persons – Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Ju, Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng – were admitted to bail also in the sum of GH¢ 500,000 each but with one surety each which must also be justified.
The court then said all the five accused persons must report to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) or their representatives twice a week.
They were also, per the bail conditions, must hand over their passports and any other travelling documents to the registrar of the court for onward transfer to the GIS.
No material evidence
But a sister court has dismissed their application for bail variation, saying the applicants failed to demonstrate with material evidence to convince the court of their allegations??????.
According to the court, the applicants, in the face of the argument, could not provide the court with document such as receipts of hotels bills, transportation receipts and hospital reports to justify their claims.
The court also said the sureties had not raised any doubt either about whether they could not ensure the applicants whether they were not in court. ????
Mr Bernard Owiredu Donkor, who represented Aisha and the other applicants, told the court that his clients’ visit to Accra twice a week had brought untold hardship on them since they would have to have travel to Accra and rent hotels before presenting themselves to the police and GIS.
He said the hotel bills of his clients were eating them up and they did not know when the matter was going to end and that the financial stress was also affecting “the lawyer’s fees.”
Counsel prayed the court to allow his clients instead to report to the police and GIS Regional Command in Kumasi, adding that fair trial meant that parties are not overburdened with situations.
Counsel expressed his surprise at State’s decision to oppose the motion, adding that the alleged offences took place in Kumasi and the application was not a waste of the court’s time.
Mr Watskin Adama, a state Attorney, while opposing to the application, said there was nothing pending in Kumasi for which the applicant should be made to be reporting there and that the trial was being conducted in Accra and investigations into the matter were also being carried out by the police and GIS.
He prayed the court to exercise its discretion in the state’s favour and not grant the applicant its request.
Mr Adama, however, told the court that if it was minded to vary the bail, it should only vary the reporting time and not the venue. The trial resumes in January.