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General News of Wednesday, 3 May 2017


5 Chinese illegal miners granted bail

The five Chinese and their five Ghanaian counterparts who were arrested and kept in prison custody on March 24th 2017, have been granted bail by the Sekondi High Court 1 in the Western Region.

The court, presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, granted the accused persons bail when lead counsel for the accused, Stephen Alewabah, pleaded with the court to have them bailed on grounds of ill-health for three of the Chinese nationals “who had been sick in custody” and constitutional provisions on human rights.

The five Ghanaians among them were granted bail to a sum of Gh100, 000 each with one surety each, whilst the Chinese nationals were granted a self-recognizance bail.

Their passports, as well as other travelling documents, were to be seized by the court and their photographs and fingerprints taken.

The accused persons were all asked to reappear for the fifth time in court on Monday, May 15 2017.

The fourth appearance in court today [Wednesday], had Senior State Attorney George Sackey opening his defense by cross-examining two police detectives; Detective Inspector Musah Seidu, the lead photographer who captured the moments when the arrest was effected on River Ankobra, and Detective Justice Bentsil.

Photographs of the arrest were tendered in as evidence by Detective Inspector Musa Seidu. Counsel for the accused, Lawyer Stephen Alewabah, and Lawyer Erikson Abekah, interrogated the images.

The case had to be adjourned when two other witnesses to give evidence on behalf of the state were absent in court.

It was before the case was adjourned that lead Counsel Stephen Alewabah, pleaded with the court to reconsider their bail application and grant his clients bail.

Senior State Attorney George Sackey objected to the application on grounds that witnesses in the case had all not been heard, and that their bail could compromise the evidence the state was gathering.

Justice Edward Amoakoh Asante, granted the bail application when Counsel Alewabah pleaded with the court to consider the human right provisions enshrined in the constitution and the health state of three of the Chinese nationals.

Justice Edward Amoako also asked state Attorney George Sackey, to ensure the other two witnesses are in court on May 15 when the case is recalled.