Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Alfred Tuah-Yeboah has explained that although the illegal mining queen and Chinese national Aisha Huang were charged under the new mining law, there was no way she could have been sentenced under it.
He clarified that the period during which Aisha Huang committed the crimes does not fall under the new mining law, so it would have been impossible to secure a sentence accordingly.
Many have argued that Aisha Huang had been given a lesser sentence for her grievous crimes, but the Deputy AG said the court acted according to the law.
“The court acted within the law. In the period within which Aisha acted, the maximum sentence was five years. She was charged with four counts; the first two were related to illegal mining, and the last two counts were related to immigration,” the Deputy AG told Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show on Citi FM on Tuesday.
He further added that the laws of Ghana frown upon retrospective punishment or sentencing.
“We acted within the law and did not act outside the law. In our laws, if you engaged in illegal mining at the time, the maximum sentence is five years, and we cannot do anything outside of what the law states. If she had returned and engaged in illegal mining, we could have gone for the current sentence prescribed by the new law.
“We charged her under the new law, but when it comes to punishment, you cannot exact punishment using the new law when the crime was committed years before the new law came into force, and our laws frown on retrospective punishment.”
Aisha Huang was jailed for four years and six months on Monday, December 4, and also fined by the court to the tune of GH¢48,000.