The four Russians arrested in the Ashanti Region for engaging in small-scale mining without appropriate licences, have each been granted GHC200,000 by the Circuit Court in Accra.
In addition to the bail amount, each of them is to provide one surety who must be a Ghanaian national in full employment or trade, TV3’s Selorm Amenya reports.
Counsel for the four, Emmanuel K Darko, put in the bail application on May 31, but the application was opposed by the prosecution which pleaded with the court to remand them to enable the police to complete its investigations.
The court presided over by Aboagye Tandoh fixed June 14 to allow the police to complete investigations, and also to rule on the bail application.
At the court’s sitting Wednesday, the judge said he was inclined to grant the accused person bail considering that they have demonstrated their willingness to avail themselves for prosecution.
Farid Isaer, Vadim Potokia, and Serhii Chepurniy all engineers and Genadiy Ruber, Site Manager have pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and undertaking small scale mining without licence.
The facts of the case as presented by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Cletus Abadamlora was that the complainant is a Police Officer attached to the Lands and Forestry Ministry, While the accused persons are foreigners from Russia and Ukraine and residents of Tontokrom in the Ashanti Region.
He said the Minister for Lands and Forestry recently gave an ultimatum to all small scale mining companies and illegal miners popularly known as ‘galamseyers’ operating within the country to stop activities till their operations are regularised.
The prosecution said government thus banned any form of small-scale mining in the country until further notice. He told the court that on May 22, the Minister and a team including the complainant went on a fact-finding mission ascertain whether the ban was being complied with at Manso Tontokrom.
DSP Abadamlora said the team met the accused persons using heavy duty equipment which had degraded a vast land thereby destroying farm crops and cocoa farms of the inhabitants and also polluted their source of drinking water.
He said the accused persons were then arrested upon which they said they were employees of Geo Professional Services (GPS), a mining company.