Court Threatens To Free Aisha Huang ‘Accomplices’
An Accra High Court has threatened to free three Chinese nationals and a Vietnamese who are alleged to be connected to illegal mining kingpin, En Huang, aka Aisha Huang, and are standing trial for illegal mining in the Ashanti Region. The court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo said this as a result of the court’s inability
to secure the services of a Chinese and Vietnamese interpreters, as all four accused persons do not speak or understand the English language. She said if by the next court sitting provisions are not made for Chinese and Vietnamese interpreters, she will release the accused persons either
conditionally or unconditionally, as the court cannot effectively hear the case without the interpreter. Shi Yang, Li Wei Guo and Shi Mei Zhi, all Chinese nationals are before the court on a charge of engaging in small scale-mining without a licence, contrary to section 99(2)(a) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006
(Act 703) as amended by Act 995 of 2019. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, a Vietnamese, on the other hand has been charged for remaining in Ghana after the expiration of her permit contrary to sections 20(1) and 52(1)(d) of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573). The Chinese nationals all pleaded not guilty to the charges, while the plea
of the Vietnamese was reserved due to the absence of a Vietnamese interpreter to explain the details of the offences to her. The court on October 11, 2022, adjourned the case to yesterday hoping that a Vietnamese interpreter would be made available to assist the court in taking the plea of the accused. It subsequently
ordered the Registrar of the court to write to the Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL) to provide the court with an officer who understands and can translate Vietnamese language for the fourth accused person. The Registrar of the Criminal Division yesterday told the court that a letter was sent to the Ghana Institute of
Languages as ordered, but they were told the Vietnamese interpreter had travelled out of the jurisdiction. He said it was later agreed at the instance of the interpreter that he worked remotely via Zoom, and this was agreed upon, but the said interpreter has since not responded to an official of GIL only identified as
Solomon, who was the link between the interpreter and the Judicial Service. The court was already informed last week that the Chinese interpreter had also travelled out of the country for his personal business, and it is not clear when he will be available to assist the court, as he is not an employee of the Judicial Service.
It was in this regard that Justice Osei Marfo indicated that the trial could not be effectively conducted “if we are not assured of the relevant court interpreters who can speak the language of the accused persons, especially those that could speak some international language such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish
etc. I will adjourn this case for the last time and if we don’t get Chinese and Vietnamese interpreters in this court, I will release the accused persons either conditionally or unconditionally, she warned and adjourned the case to November 21, 2022.