Court dismisses bail variation for Aisha, others

An Accra High Court has dismissed a motion for variation of the bail conditions filed by Aisha Huang and four other Chinese, who have been accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region.      

The court presided over by Mr Justice Iddrisu Abdullai noted that there was no compelling evidence before the court to warrant the grant for the variation of the bail conditions.

According to the court bail conditions could be varied if compelling reasons were given by the applicants by providing weighty evidence that the bail condition posed a challenge to them.
“In the instant application the applicants were not able to demonstrate to the court that the bail condition had brought untold hardship or consequence on them.
They did not present any receipt form from a hotel, Transport Company or any receipt indicating that they bought fuel for their vehicles,” the court noted.
Additionally the court observed that the applicants did not present any medical form to show that travelling from Kumasi to Accra has brought some stress on them.
The court further stated that the applicants have sureties who were also capable of ensuring that they appear in court noting that their sureties were in Accra.
It explained that conditions given by the court was to ensure that the applicants come to court considering the seriousness of the offence levelled against them.
Aisha and the other applicants had gone to court praying for variation of their conditions since it poses challenges on them. 
Aisha Huang and her four accomplices namely: Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun 39; Habin Gao, 26; and Zhang Pen, 23; contend that reporting to the  Police and the Ghana Immigration Service twice a week in Accra was a challenge.
Ms Huang was granted bail in the sum of GH¢500,000.00 with two sureties each to be justified by the court presided over by Mr Justice Ekow Baiden.
The four others namely Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun 39; Habin Gao, 26; and Zhang Pen, 23; were also admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢500,000.00 with one surety each. Each surety is to be justified.
Aisha, aka Aisha, or Yaa Asantewaa, has additionally been accused of providing mine support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission. 
As part of the bail conditions, they were to report to the Police and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in Accra twice every week.
Aisha and her accomplices have been accused of undertaking their activities at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
Aisha is also accused of providing excavators to small scale mining companies around February 2015 to May 2017 without a valid license from the Minerals Commission; and also providing illegal employment to foreign nationals.
The accused were rounded up by the GIS in the Ashanti Region and they were, consequently, transferred to Accra by the GIS for further investigations.
On May 9, this year, Aisha and her supposed accomplices were put before the High Court and on November 17 this year; defence counsel filed a motion for the bail variation.
Moving the motion for variation on November 27, this year Mr Bernard Owiredu Donkor who represented Aisha and the other applicants told the court that his client visit to Accra twice a week has 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.
According to Mr Donkor the hotel bills of his clients were eating them up and they did not know when the matter was going to end.
He said the financial stress was also affecting “the lawyer’s fees.”

Mr Donkor prayed the court to allow them 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 at Kumasi and the application was not a waste of the court’s time.
Opposing the application, Mr Watskin Adama, a state Attorney said there was nothing pending in Kumasi for which the applicant should be made to be reporting there.
According to Mr Adama, the trial was being conducted in Accra and investigations into the matter were also being carried out by the Police and Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
“The case has everything to do with Accra,” he told the court presided over by Mr Justice Abdullai Iddrisu.
Mr Adama said the applicants have also not indicated that they had spent so much on transportation, bills among others.
“These are mere averments made by the applicants without any proof’ 
The State Attorney therefore prayed the court to exercise its discretion in the state’s favour.
Mr Adama however told the court that if was minded to vary the bail, it should only vary the reporting time and not the venue.  

Source: GNA 

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