Freddie Blay, the immediate past chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and managing partner of Blay & Associates, has said agreeing to represent the alleged accomplices of Aisha Huang in court does not make him an advocate of illegal mining.
The state has served notice that it will file eight witness statements in the trial of galamsey kingpin Aisha Huang and her four accomplices, who are being represented by Blay’s chambers.
The four include three Chinese nationals and a Vietnamese whose permit to stay in Ghana is said to have expired. The accused persons are Chinese nationals; Shi Yang alias Philip, Li Wei Guo and Shi Mei Zhi and Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, a Vietnamese national.
Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday (12 October), Blay said: “We are not supporting anybody who go degrading our water, particularly galamsey.”
“As professionals and officers of the law, it is our duty to defend the client who has been brought before court,” Blay said. “That is exactly what the firm is doing. It’s unfortunate people want to make you look bad. Even criminals before court, or assumed criminals before court should not be descended upon.”
According to him, his law firm does not support alleged illegal activities.
“It doesn’t mean that the firm is supporting degradation and criminal activities of individuals whether foreigners or Ghanaians.
“Our clients who are before the court at the moment are going through the judicial process or due process of the law. Our stance is that these individuals are not in any way connected to Aisha Huang.
“We are surprised that individuals, particularly those in the media, are coming out to say that,…. ‘if you defend such an individual then you are supporting a crime or you are against the efforts towards galamsey,’ that is absolutely wrong,” Blay said.