Crime & Punishment Sat, 26 May 2018

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Galamsey queen's partner missing

State attorneys are looking for a Chinese named Lu Qin Jun, who is an accomplice of Aisha Huang, the Chinese lady who is standing trial over alleged illegal mining (galamsey) in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.

An Accra high court on May 10, 2018 issued a bench warrant for his arrest after he had continuously absented himself from the trial. Two weeks after the issuance of the bench warrant, neither his lawyer nor his colleagues know of his whereabouts.

In court yesterday, Mercy Arthura, Chief State Attorney, told the court that at the time of the granting of bail, the accused was living in Kumasi.

She said after the bench warrant had been issued, Aisha told her (Mercy) that Mr. Jun now lives in Tema but they had not been able to locate his Tema residence to arrest him. The court has also rescinded the bail granted to another Chinese national, Gao Jin, who according to the prosecution, attempted to run away from the country to avoid being tried. He was brought to court yesterday by prison officers.

Meanwhile, Justice Ekow Baiden has asked the prosecution and the defence teams to put their houses in order. That was after the prosecution had wanted to move its application to revoke the bail granted to the accused persons. Defence counsel Captain (rtd) Nkrabea Effah Dartey drew the attention of the court to the fact that he had not been served with the motion.

He told the court that the motion was filed the previous day at 2:40 pm and that the prosecutor only gave him her copy of the motion when he got to the court. The presiding judge who was not happy about the development urged the prosecution to ensure that the proper thing was done. He subsequently adjourned the matter to June 7, 2018 when the prosecution is expected to move its motion.

Aisha Huang and four other Chinese nationals – Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Habin Gao and Zhang Pen – filed the application two weeks ago praying the court to show clemency and review some of the bail conditions which they claim were posing financial challenges for them.

The five were arrested in Kumasi for their alleged involvement in large-scale illegal mining and were brought to Accra to face trial.

Aisha was granted bail by the court in June 2017 in the sum of GH¢500,000 with two sureties to be justified. The four others were also granted bail in the sum of GH?500,000.00 with one surety each who must be a Ghanaian by birth.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

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