General News of Monday, 16 April 2018
A Senior State Attorney has prayed an Accra High Court to send Aisha Huang and four other Chinese nationals who are being tried for engaging in illegal mining back to custody for their safety and speedy trial.
Ms Mercy Arthur made the application following defence counsel’s submissions that Gao Jin Cheng one of the accused could not attend court because he had fallen from a moving vehicle.
According to Ms Arthur, the accused who are on bail were endangered and they would be safe when they were sent into custody.
She told the court: “We are greatly disappointed at the development because the state is running at a loss in terms of transporting some witnesses from Kumasi to Accra only for the matter to be adjourned.
At present, no medical report has been provided indicating that Cheng is in hospital.”
Ms Arthur noted that records before the court showed that the matter had been adjourned at the instance of the absence of Cheng.
Captain (Retired) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey defence counsel had earlier informed the court that: “Cheng fell from a moving vehicle in Kumasi and he was rushed to Adiembra Hospital. As I speak he is still on admission. I will therefore ask for an adjournment to enable him join us.”
Capt. Rtd Effah-Dartey said he was going to talk to his clients about the dangers of absenting themselves from court and appealed to them to take good care of themselves.
However, when the presiding judge, Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden enquired further from the accused how Cheng fell from vehicle, Aisha said Cheng was riding a motorbike and he fell off.
The judge further quizzed:” How could the accused fall from a car, was he a “trotro mate, was he sitting on top of a vehicle?”
Defence counsel said he was going get the details of the incident and inform the court accordingly.
The court adjourned the matter to May 10 and 11, this year.
Aisha Huang and her four accomplices namely: Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun 39; Habin Gao 26; and Zang Pan 23 have been accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region.
Aisha aka Yaa Asantewaa has additionally been accused of providing mine support services without valid licence from the Minerals Commission.
The five who have pleaded not guilty are on GH¢ 500,000.00 bail each. Each surety is to be justified.