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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 31 May 2012

Source: GNA

Twelve granted bail over Talensi area clashes

The Bolgatanga Circuit Court has granted a bail of GH¢70,000 to 12 persons including an Assemblyman accused of violent attacks in the mining area of Gbane in the Talensi District.

Chief Inspector John Aguah told the court presided by Justice Emmanuel Kofi Sunu, that the accused were picked up during a sod cutting ceremony meant to build a bridge linking the Gbane Community to Datuko, over the oun river by Shanxi Mining Company (GH) Limited.

He said a mob attacked and wounded four Chinese men and destroyed property of the company estimated at 3,345.90 dollars.

Chief Inspector Aguah said nine of the accused were picked up after the Chinese men identified them and the other three led by Robert Tampuar, a community member, reported later to the Bolgatanga police and were detained.

Mr Amoak Afoko, Counsel of the accused persons, pleaded with the court to grant them bail since they had been under Police custody for three weeks, adding that all accused persons could not be guilty until they were proven guilty.

He said an earlier demonstration, organized by the same community to the Bolgatanga Municipality to present a petition related to the mining activities of the Chinese to the Regional Minister was conducted in a peaceful manner.

He said the accused that were in custody because of the tension should be granted bail since calm had returned to the area.

Mr. Rockson Ayine, Second counsel for the accused persons, also asked the judge to tamper justice with mercy and review the bail terms.

Speaking with reporters after the case was adjourned, Mr Ayine said the bail was too expensive for people of such background and he intended to call for a review.

“The people involved are only galamsey miners and considering the poverty level of the people in the area, they are not likely to get people with such an amount to pledge for each person and that is why we have to pray the court for a review”, he said.

Concerning the involvement of the assemblyman, he said he was performing his duty as a leader of the community and he had sent earlier warnings to the minister in a peaceful demonstration organized, but authorities failed to address the situation.**