The five Chinese and their Ghanaian counterparts arrested in March 2017 for mining illegally on River Ankobra at Dawule in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region, abused Ghana’s immigration laws, a Senior State Attorney George Sackey has said.
According to the State Attorney, the Chinese made false representation contrary to section 23 (1) of the criminal offences Act, 1960, Act 29, and Section 52 of the immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.
He also said the accused “conspired to undertake small scale mining operation without license contrary to section 23 (1) of the criminal offences Act 1960, Act 29”.
Six other offenses were brought against the 10 accused persons, when the case was called for the third time at the Sekondi High Court 1.
On the State Attorney’s charge sheet, the six other offenses were “undertaking small scale mining operation without license contrary to section 99 (2) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703”, “engaging in mining activity using methods not known or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency contrary to section 27 (3) of the EPA Act, 1994, Act 490”, “pollution of water contrary to section 24 of the Water Resources Commission Act, 1996, Act 522”, “pollution of water contrary to section 23(1) of the criminal offences Act, 1960, Act 1996, Act 522”, “conspiracy to commit offence to wit, causing intentional and unlawful harm and damage to property in a manner likely to cause danger to life contrary to section 23 (1) and 172 (2) of the criminal offences Act, Act 29, 1960”, and “causing unlawful damage intentionally and unlawfully to property in a manner likely to cause danger to life contrary to section 172 (2) of the criminal offences Act, 1960, Act 522.”
After deliberations on the case in court on Monday, the court, presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, dismissed for the third time, a bail application filed by counsel for the five Chinese nationals and their 5 Ghanaian counterparts.
He ordered for their release from police custody to be remanded into prison custody to reappear before it on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
Counsel for the accused, which had changed from the Kumasi based Lawyer Stephen Alewaba to the Shama based Lawyer Erickson Abakah, expressed disappointment in the court’s denial of his bail application when his clients have languished in police custody for four weeks.
“Regrettably, our bail application has been refused. Looking at the next adjourned date, if you say you’re appealing it will take you sometime. Personally, I’m of the view that having languished in cells for over four weeks, this case should be a case for which bail should be granted and ought not to be refused except for special circumstances. I’m actually disturbed that the accused persons should be remanded. Honestly, it’s not too palatable to say that people who are undergoing trial should still be remanded for an offence which is bailable.”
In their second appearance on April 10th, the lack of a certified Chinese interpreter forced the court to adjourn the case to April 24th, but one has now been provided.
The five Chinese facing trial are Dong Cheng, 30, Hung Jian, 51, Ning Guorui, 42, Yin Biquiang, 46 and Li Zilong, 44. Their Ghanaian counterparts are Eric Owusu, 28, Kwabena Adjei, 50, Nana Adu, 42, Kwesi Owusu, 28 and Kofi Darko, 21.
By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/citifmonline.com/Ghana