Five Chinese to be tried for illegal mining in Ghana

It emerged during the court proceedings that the A-G had filed an affidavit in opposition to the bail application.  It pleaded with the court not to grant bail because the activities of the five Chinese contravened the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2015. The presiding judge, Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, then enquired why the state lawyers were basing their response on the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2015 when the five had not been charged under the Act.“You have not charged them with offences under the Act so why are you basing your opposition to the bail application on the Act?’’ he asked. Ms Arthur replied that the A-G took over the case from the GIS last Wednesday and during its preliminary assessment, it deemed it necessary to charge the five alleged “galamseyers’’ under the Act. “We were getting ready to charge them under the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2015 when we were served with the bail application so we had to respond to it,’’ she said. Mr Justice Baiden further enquired why the A-G did not apply to the court to allow it to amend the charge sheet of the five Chinese to reflect offences under the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2015.“You had time to see their bail application, so you could have amended the charge sheet and also apply for more time to respond appropriately,’’ he said. Mr Justice Baiden further asserted that the bail application was about the fundamental human rights of the five Chinese to be granted bail, and, therefore, there was no basis for the state to oppose it based on charges that had not been levelled against them.Ms Arthur then pleaded with the court to grant the state more time to “put its house in order’’ to investigate the case and also respond appropriately to the bail application.Counsel for the five alleged “galamseyers’’, Mr Jerry Akuetteh, in his response, pleaded with the court to grant his clients bail, arguing that the state could still continue with investigations if his clients were on bail.

Source: Ghana news: Five Chinese to be charged under Minerals Act – Graphic Online

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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