The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has voiced his dissatisfaction with the relatively lenient prison term and fine imposed on Aisha Huang, a Chinese illegal mining kingpin, by an Accra High Court.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, December 5, Mr Dame expressed bewilderment at the trial judge’s decision to sentence Aisha Huang under Act 900.
He concurred with critics who argued that the four-and-a-half-year prison term and GH₵48,000 fine handed to the Chinese national did not align with the gravity of her actions under Act 995.
“Whilst applauding the efficiency of the justice delivery system witnessed in the trial of Aisha Huang, the Attorney-General will however test the soundness of the decision of the trial court to punish the accused person under Act 900, by filing an appeal at the Court of Appeal, against the sentence in order to ensure that the new sentencing regime imposed by Act 995 is applied to the accused person.”
Surprisingly, Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the judge who sentenced Aisha Huang, expressed a preference for a more stringent sentence if she had the authority.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo stated that the crimes committed by Aisha Huang were serious and detrimental to the State.
During her ruling on Monday, December 4, she clarified that the prosecution of the Chinese national was conducted under Act 900, which previously stipulated a maximum penalty of five years for engaging in mining activities without a license.
She noted that the limitations of the Act prevented her from imposing a heftier sentence.
“I wish I had the right to impose the punishment under the current law,” Justice Lydia Marfo noted before giving her sentence.
The Chinese national, alternatively known as En Huang, faced charges of conducting a mining operation without a license, aiding the involvement of individuals in mining operations, employing foreigners illegally, and entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry.
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