Attorney General to file an appeal against Aisha Huang’s 4-year jail term

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Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General (A-G), has chosen to file an appeal against the four and a half-year prison sentence that the Accra High Court imposed on En Huang, also known as Aisha Huang, a Chinese national who was the kingpin of illegal mining in the Ashanti Region.

According to him, the purpose of the action is to verify that the conviction is subject to the new sentencing guidelines enforced by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) and to assess the validity of the trial court’s decision to punish the well-known illegal miner under the 2015 act 900.

In a statement dated December 5, 2023, the public is urged not to comment on the ruling any longer, as doing so could compromise the fight against illegal mining and jeopardize the fair and efficient administration of justice.

Aisha Huang, the galamsey kingpin, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison by the Accra High Court on Monday, December 4, 2023, for engaging in illicit mining.

Huang received a custodial sentence and a GH¢48,000 fine in addition.

The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court found her guilty of conducting a mining operation without a license, facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation, and facilitating the illegal employment of foreigners. After serving her jail sentence and paying the fine, she will be deported.

She served a jail sentence for offenses committed between 2015 and 2017, after which she was initially deported in 2018 as a result of the A-G’s decision to end the case.

The presiding judge, Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, expressed her regret that she was unable to sentence the Chinese national to a longer term after finding her guilty.

The old mining law, the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), which imposes a maximum five-year jail term for engaging in illegal mining, seemed to have forced the judge’s hand, though she did not say so explicitly.

The Minerals and Mining Act, 2019 (Act 995) took the place of Act 703 in 2019 and went into effect long after Huang’s trial under the previous legislation had started.

Illegal miners found guilty under Act 995 could spend a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 25 years behind bars.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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