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Trial Of Alleged “Galamsey Queen” And Others Suffer Setback   
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Trial of Aisha Huang and four other Chinese nationals who have been accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region, on Monday suffered a set back when sitting resumed at the Accra High Court.

This was after Mr Bernard Owuredu Donkor, who had defended the accused since the trial commenced informed the court that he had some medical challenge hence could not continue his cross examination of the prosecution witness.

Mr Donkor after informing the court left but to the surprise of the Court, when the case was called Captain (Retired) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey informed the court that he was representing all the accused.

According to Capt. Effah-Dartey he met Mr Donkor and they had talked over issues.

The court presided over by Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden then directed Capt. Effah-Dartey to write formally to the court about his role in the matter.

Although Capt. Effah-Dartey demanded to know what transpired at the court’s last sitting, the court indicated that it was unable to do so until he had written to the court officially as a new solicitor in the matter.

Captain Effah-Dartey’s attempt to even act as a friend of the court to cross examine the witness was not accepted by the court.

The court further wondered why Capt. Effah-Datey was attempting to repeat a bail variation application that had been dismissed by another court filed on behalf of the accused persons.

The court said it found Capt. Effah Dartey’s, action strange as he was trying to re-argue the previous bail variation application that had earlier on been dismissed by another High Court.

Ms Mercy Arthur, a Senior State Attorney prosecuting the matter said the State’s witness was ready to be cross–examined.

Due to the development, the court adjourned to matter to 19 February for continuation.

Aisha Huang and her four accomplices namely: Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun 39; Habin Gao, 26; and Zhang Pen, 23 are on trial.

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 Baiden.

The four others were also admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢ 500,000.00 each with one surety each.

Each surety is to be justified.

Aisha, aka Yaa Asantewaa, has additionally been accused of providing mine support services without valid license from 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.
Source: GNA

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