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Judge clashes with police over Chinese rosewood kingpin

A Tamale Circuit court judge, Twumasi Appiah, on Monday clashed with the police over the whereabouts of a Chinese rosewood suspect.

Helen Huang has reportedly jumped bail following her arrest last week for transporting truckloads of rosewood lumbers ,despite a state ban on the commodity.

Police prosecutors were in court to be empowered to force Huang’s surety to produce the Chinese suspect or pay the bail sum.

Investigators had described the surety as “an influential individual”, but when the case was called the man described himself as “an independent journalist”.


In further identifications, he gave his name as Mohammed Bondirgbum, and said he had never known the suspect from anywhere until the day of her arrest.  He disclosed that the Chinese suspect has seized answering his calls and has not been able to establish contact.

Angered by the testimony, the presiding judge, lashed out at the police over their inability to do thorough background checks on the surety before granting bail to the suspect.

A heated exchange then ensued when the judge ordered the police to handover custody of the trucks used to carry the consignment.  The trucks with the rosewood containers had been handed over to the forestry department when the judge gave the order.

One prosecutor downplayed the order and attempted to challenge it.  “We have to discuss that with our superior”, the prosecutor said, referring to the order.

But the furious judge, raising his voice at the officer in a wild grimace, ordered him to comply immediately.

The judge later granted a GhC13,000 bail to the surety or produce two sureties working in the public sector with a salary not below GhC3000.

The case will be recalled May 23, 2019.




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