The immediate past national chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay, has expressed shock at the backlash he and his firm have received because of their decision to defend some foreign nationals standing trial for alleged illegal mining offences.
Law firm Blay and Associates is neck-deep in the defence of the four accomplices of En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang, who has been charged with the others for engaging in illegal mining activities in Ghana.
The decision of Mr Blay’s firm to defend these foreign nationals, when his party and government is battling an ongoing galamsey menace has raised eyebrows but the astute lawyer in a radio interview said every accused person is entitled to legal representation.
Mr Blay who is a stalwart of the NPP due to his immediate past position says it is rather unfortunate that he has been subjected to attacks.
Speaking to Joy FM on Wednesday, October 12, Mr Blay said, “My clients are not guilty; we’ve sworn an oath to defend them.
They came to instruct us and we as professionals, we have sworn an oath to defend our clients to the best of our knowledge and ability and that is exactly what we are doing in accordance with the Constitution of this country.
“They are not guilty. They’ve been brought before the court, they’ve pleaded not guilty and are being defended,” Mr Blay said as quoted by Graphiconline.
According to him, the four accused persons may have a relationship with Aisha Huang because in 2017 they bought a supermarket from her.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame has assured Ghanaians that his outfit will not relent in its effort to prosecute all illegal miners in the country, adding that, for Aisha Huang, who has gained notoriety for the galamsey trade she will pay for both her past and present offences.
Godfred Dame was speaking to the press after the now-famous galamsey kingpin Aisha Huang was denied bail on Tuesday, October 11.
“In respect of Aisha Huang, we have filed most of the documents we will rely on. We have filed witness statements with four witnesses, we need about four more. But the Judge in her discretion decided to adjourn to 24th October for us to come and conduct the case management conference and we are ready to conduct the trial on a day by day basis and the Judge has also indicated the inclination to conduct the trial in that manner. So we are happy with the progress of the matter. And it is important to indicate to the world our full commitment to prosecute all these illegal mining offences. It is something that is of utmost importance to the nation.”
Aisha Huang, a Chinese national, previously deported/repatriated for dealing in illegal mining in 2018 was re-arrested this year.
She is currently standing trial with three other Chinese nationals for mining without a license and engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals.
All three were remanded into the custody of the National Investigation Bureau pending the final determination of their case.