The Asante Bekwai Circuit Court has granted a GHC300,000.00 bail with three sureties each to 12 Chinese nationals accused of illegal mining also known as ‘Galemsey’.
The Court, presided over by Mr Mark Tair-ima Diboro, ordered that one of the three sureties each should be justified with a landed property.
All the sureties should be Ghanaians living within the jurisdiction of the court.
The accused persons, the court ordered, should deposit their passports with the court’s registry and the Registrar should check with the Immigration Service if they were genuine.
Again, the court asked the Registrar to liaise with the regional Judicial Service to get an interpreter for the accused persons to facilitate judicious trial.
The prosecution did not give the facts of the case to the court and it has been adjourned to May 10, 2023.
Information available to the Ghana News Agency indicated that they were arrested over alleged illegal mining activities at Obuasi.
They are Hin Ming Ji, Ling Win Hong, Hong Ling Ja, Lu Kang Min, Qin Qinghai, Qin Huag, Wing Hing, Lu Tia Hu, Chang Hong Te, Chin Yang Hong, Win Shin Weng and Huan Bong Tao.
Mr Bright Gyamfi, defense counsel for the first two accused persons, in praying for bail, said though Chinese, they had fixed places of abode in Kumasi, running their own businesses with recognised locations and that they would not interfere with investigations, appear to stand for trial and had people of substance to stand as sureties.
He said though they were foreigners, they were entitled to the fundamental human rights of the country adding that his clients were not even arrested at where the said crime was said to have been committed.
Mr Kofi Boye Ateng, lawyer for the rest of the accused persons, also said his clients had fixed places of abode and workplaces, and that they were victims of circumstances as they were found as easy target.
He said they had people of substance to stand as sureties, would not hamper investigations and would appear to stand for trial.
Mr Boye said the accused persons were innocent until proven guilty and pleaded with the Court to exercise the bail discretionary and favourable to them.
The Court in granting bail considered the lawyers’ submission in addition to the fact that the prosecution did not also oppose to the bail.