Prominent illegal miner, Aisha Huang, faces additional legal challenges as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, announces his intention to test the soundness of the trial court’s decision in her case.
Huang was recently sentenced to four and half years in prison and a fine of GH¢48,000 after being found guilty of mining without a license.
However, the Attorney General plans to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal to ensure that the new sentencing regime imposed by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995), is applied to Huang. This new Act imposes a jail term of over 20 years for offenses such as illegal mining.
According to reports, the Judge took into account the arguments from both the prosecution and defense in reaching the guilty verdict.
Previous charges against Huang had resulted in her release, as the old legal regime allowed for a maximum sentence of five years. However, the new Act has significantly increased the potential jail time for such offenses.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Attorney General commended the efficiency of the justice delivery system in Huang’s trial, but expressed the need to test the trial court’s decision under the previous Act. By appealing the sentence, the Attorney General aims to ensure that the new sentencing regime is properly applied to Huang.
Furthermore, the Attorney General has also appealed to the public to be cautious with their comments regarding Huang’s case.
He noted that some comments made in reaction to the judgement have been misleading.
He urged members of the public, including lawyers, to consider the facts of the case and refrain from making comments that undermine the fight against illegal mining or jeopardize the sound and efficient administration of justice.
The appeal filed by the Attorney General at the Court of Appeal will further examine the punishment imposed on Aisha Huang and seek to ensure that the new sentencing regime is duly applied. As the case unfolds, many will be closely watching the outcome and its potential impact on the fight against illegal mining in Ghana.
By Vincent KubiRead Full Story