Aisha Huang trial: Defence lawyer, prosecutor engage in heated banter
There was a moment of heated banter between a state prosecutor and defence lawyers in the case against alleged Chinese galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang, and three others.
During proceedings at the Accra Circuit Court 9 on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Inspector Isaac Babaye, while arguing against a motion for bail by the defence lawyers, noted that all the accused persons posed a flight risk.
To advance his argument, Inspector Babaye noted that most of the accused persons, who are all Chinese nationals, have been found to possess multiple passports.
“What we have now is that most of the accused persons have multiple passports with different names on them. Therefore, if they are granted bail, they will not appear to stand trial and defeat the purpose of bail,” Inspector Babaye told the court.
In response to the claim by the prosecution, Franklin Kumatoh accused Inspector Babaye of attempting to prejudice the mind of the court by embellishing and speculating on the matter of the accused persons possessing multiple passports.
“The issue of multiple passports is not borne out of any investigative findings. We urge the court to disregard the allegation of multiple passports, especially in the case of accused persons 2, 3 and 4,” he noted.
Following the respective arguments by the prosecution and the defense, Mr Bright Acquah, the presiding judge, scribbling halfway through his ruling, was prompted by Inspector Babaye.
The prosecutor told the judge that he ought to make a statement on a Point of Order. According to him, there was a need for him to alert the defence lawyer to be mindful of what he said was his “attempt to impugn my integrity.”
The prosecutor stated that the accusation that he is engaging in speculation and embellishment is an action by the defence lawyer which is contrary to the Ghana Bar Association’s Code of Ethics.
But the defence lawyers raised objections, saying the moment for arguing had passed and that the prosecutor had failed to cite any rule or law to back his submission on Point of Order.
The presiding judge intervened to calm the lawyers and went ahead to issue his ruling.
Mr Bright Acquah, in his ruling, denied bail for the accused persons.
He, however, admonished the prosecution to ensure its investigations are concluded with disclosures served on the defence by the next sitting.
The case has been adjourned to October 27, 2022.
Aisha Huang, aka Huang Ruixia, and the three other accused persons: John Li Hua, Huang Jei, and Huaid Hai Hun, are being held for engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a valid license.
Aisha, 47, is facing an additional charge of engaging in mining without a licence.
All the accused persons have denied the charges pressed against them.