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Put your house in order for trial to commence – Court tells Police

An Accra Circuit Court hearing the case of the two Russians and their two Ukrainian counterparts, who were arrested in the Ashanti Region for engaging in illegal small scale mining, on Thursday, gave the Police the last opportunity to put their house in order for trial to begin.

According to the court it cannot continue adjourning the matter.

The trial Judge, Mr Aboagye Tandoh stated that the court was ready to hear the matter but the Police came to court to inform it that the Attorney General’s Department would be taking over the prosecution.

However when the case was called no official from the Attorney General Department was present.

This compelled Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) C. K. Abadamlora, the prosecutor, to call the investigator to inform the court about the developments in the matter.

The investigator told the court that the docket was forwarded to the AG’s office, and that, he could not tell why the state attorney assigned to the case was not in court.

Mr Tandoh noted that there was nothing new in the submissions of the investigator expressing the court’s eagerness to kick start trial of the four accused persons.

Defence counsel for the four accused persons, Mr Emmanuel Darko, lamented over the delay in the trial, noting that, “they have been going back and forth with the matter”.

According to Mr Darko, some of his clients were consultants and are losing money because they are unable to accept consultancy services given to them.

Furthermore, their situations were compounded by the seizure of their passports.

The court adjourning the matter to November 16, asked defence counsel to present their application before the court so it could rule on it.

The four persons were granted bail to the tune of GH¢200,000.00 each with one surety who must be a Ghanaian.

The accused, who are managers of Geo Professional Services, were said to have mined about 500 acres of land instead of 75 acres originally given them by the Lands Commission at Tontokrom in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.

Their arrest was ordered by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, during his tour of mining sites in the Ashanti region.

The four; Farid Isaev, Vadim Potokin, Serhii Chepurnly and  Genadly Rubec, have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and undertaking small-scale mining without a licence, contrary to Section 99 (2) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).

The mining company was allegedly issued with the “stop work order” by the Inspection Directorate of the Minerals Commission on May 18, but they disregarded the directive and continued mining.

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