Illegal mining kingpin, En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang, on Tuesday broke down in tears before an Accra High Court while under cross-examination by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa.

The DPP was questioning the accused about an ordinary statement she gave to the immigration following the arrest of four Chinese nationals; Qi Jin, Gao Jin Cheng, Habin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng at Bepotenten in the Ashanti Region, who she indicated were in the country to repair her broken excavators.

The prosecutor made reference to similar statements in which the accused admitted inviting the four to Ghana to work for her but Aisha denied the content of the statement although she admitted it was her signature that is embossed on them.

She then broke down in tears, indicating she had not said anything like that to the investigating authorities.

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo intervened by asking for a short pause and directed her clerk to provide the accused with a paper tissue which was given to her and she intermittently wiped tears away from her eyes as the trial proceeded.

“Let her know that I do not like witnesses who come and cry at all. So she should compose herself,” the Judge admonished and Aisha abruptly stopped crying.

She then told the court that she had no knowledge of the content of the statements as she was only asked to sign them else she would not be allowed to return home.

“I was told I could only leave if I signed otherwise I would remain at the station that was why I signed. I can swear on this that I ever said anything like this,” she told the court.

But Mrs Obuobisa would have none of it and pointed out to the accused that she was “definitely not being truthful because at the time you gave this statement in August 2016 none of your workers had been arrested so they were unknown to the immigration officers so nobody could have provided their names if you had not provided them.”

The DPP also indicated that the accused was not being truthful because in August 2016, she was not a suspect, neither was she an accused person nor was she under arrest nor was she under any restraint so she freely volunteered an ordinary statement.

The accused disagreed and said she signed the statements because that was the only condition under which she would be allowed to go home.

The DPP also put it to the accused that her company, Golden Asia Company Limited had six excavators on an illegal mining site and this was confirmed by prosecution witness.

The accused denied the assertion saying she does not know why the witnesses would, “testify that those excavators are nine because there is nothing like that.”

Double Identities

Aisha Huang while under cross-examination confirmed she has two identities – En Huang and Huang Ruixia and two different dates of birth – November 7, 1987, and July 7, 1975, but told the court that her parents gave her both names and dates of birth, indicating it is a common phenomenon in China.

She also admitted to having three different passports with different names, dates of birth and places of birth but said one was cancelled when she was repatriated from Ghana in 2018.

She, however, told the court that it was normal for her to have the two passports with different details because it is something that happens in China and directed the DPP to confirm same from the Chinese Embassy as both passports are valid.

“I put it to you that your double identifies is because you engage in illegal activities,” the DPP pushed. “It is not so my Lady. The two passports were because when one was cancelled I had to do a new one and these were names that were given to me by my parents. Counsel can cross-check this at the Embassy,” the accused replied.

“You just want to deceive the court because place of birth is different from place of residence,” the DPP asked and the accused said: “This is how it is in China and counsel can verify from the Chinese embassy.”

Mr Obuobisa then further asked, “And your two passports have two different signatures?” and Aisha Huang replied “It is so. In China, we sign our name so two names on two passports would mean two signatures.”

The case was adjourned to July 24 for further cross-examination.